Green Day - Barclays Center - 4/7/13

Categories: Green Day, Live

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Credit: Kelly Schott
Better Than: This by 2,000 light years.

"Life is not fucking pretty right now. Believe me, I can testify to that shit." This was Billie Joe Armstrong's call to arms. Shouted in the middle of performing "Letterbomb," he wanted the audience to let go with him for just a couple of Sunday evening hours and live in the moment. Begging us to forget work, school, and the outside world, his request was as much a plea to help free each of us as it was one to help free him from the full weight of the aftermath of a very public meltdown.

It's difficult to forget what happened last fall at the I Heart Radio festival in Las Vegas, where Billie Joe traversed the fine line between rock star antics and some level of mental instability. Maybe that line has always been how much the world actually gets to see. Video of the incident spread quickly and suddenly, and the singer admitted to a struggle with addictions and demons that were never quelled. Now out of treatment, he has rejoined the band to make up for a series of postponed dates and lack of support for the trio of albums they released last year.

See also: Live: Green Day Get A Little Less Serious At The Studio At Webster Hall

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Live-Blogging The 2012 Video Music Awards: We Are Never Ever Ever Gonna Use Tonight As A Bellwether

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How much Swiftian shock will we see tonight?
Has the live-blog been obliterated by Twitter? Let's find out on MTV's biggest night of the year, the Video Music Awards, which this year will feature Taylor Swift (in business casual on the double-decker red carpet right now), Frank Ocean, Rihanna, and Green Day, among others, as well as honors to various clips designed to big-up the biggest pop tracks of the year.

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Hot 100 Roundup: Taylor Swift's Kiss-Off To Country, Mumford & Sons' Folkie Rave, And More

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Editors' note: Each week in this space, chart-watcher Robert Myers will offer his reactions to all the new entries on the Hot 100, Billboard's big board for popular songs.

Late August on the pop charts used to be what I called the summer doldrums—almost the entire music industry went on vacation, resting up for the autumn onslaught of new releases. Now that singles have re-established themselves as the major form of product, though, and the promotion cycle is faster and more omnipresent than ever, there's no telling when a major star is going to drop something big. So this week we get new Taylor Swift, new Mumford & Sons, and even something new from country, the genre that still holds closest to the old ways (I mean Jake Owen). No one gets a vacation anymore.

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Butch Vig On Nevermind, Siamese Dream, Garbage, And His History Of Shaping Alternative Rock As We Know It

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Garbage.
If you don't think Butch Vig's almost singlehandedly invented two decades of alternative rock as we know it, just look at his resumé: Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, AFI. That's without mentioning his membership in the still-cool Garbage or the fact he produced a little generational totem called Nevermind. From grunge to "electronica" to emo, he's probably building someone's entire adolescence from scratch as we speak. He free-associated for Village Voice about some of his biggest hits, underrated discoveries and Garbage's own new album Not Your Kind of People, which drops this week.


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Live: Green Day Get A Little Less Serious At The Studio At Webster Hall

by Joshua Kurp

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Nadia Chaudhury
Green Day
The Studio at Webster Hall
Thursday, October 27

Better Than: Hearing blink-182 play "Hybrid Moments" three times.

"We're gonna do an older song," Billie Joe Armstrong, dressed as Jack Skellington, told the packed-tight audience at the Studio at Webster Hall around 10 songs into Green Day's two-hour set on Thursday night. The show had begun promisingly enough with a cover of "Monster Mash," sung vaguely to the tune of "Basket Case," followed by almost all-new material.

Then, 40 minutes in, the so-called "older song." It turned out to be "Stop, Drop, and Roll," the title track from the 2008 album by Green Day spinoff Foxboro Hot Tubs. For those up front—the younger, moshing fans—this was received rapturously; for those in the middle and back, the ones who may have seen Green Day during the Dookie tour, hearing a song from three years ago referred to as "older" was met with an awkward, false-anticipatory shuffle. Last night's surprise pre-Halloween show was an opportunity for Green Day to test out new material in front of a devoted audience, with security so tight that photos were forbidden; even the set lists were supposedly ripped up the second the concert ended.

(It was also a chance to play covers of "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and the Misfits' "Hybrid Moments" (performed three times, presumably because the show was being recorded and they needed a perfect take—good thing it's a perfect song); the band wove a line or two from Pulp's "Common People" into one of the new songs, too.)

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100 & Single: Late Bloomer Nicki Minaj Scores Summer Smash Off Aging Album

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Imagine if People named an actor "Sexiest [Gender] Alive" months before he or she had released a hit movie or TV show. It's not unthinkable, certainly—think back to the '90s and the Julia Ormonds and Skeet Ulrichs who scored Next Big Thing magazine covers before face-planting in a flop movie—but it's damned unlikely. Usually chart-topping, newsstand-blanketing fame comes after the public has gone gaga for the emerging star's wares.

In music, it's a lot easier to be a best-seller without blanketing the airwaves. Generations of quirky rock acts, from Jethro Tull in the '70s to the Arcade Fire in 2010, have topped the Billboard album chart without even scraping the Hot 100. But pop, R&B and hip-hop acts generally live and die by the single; hit songs lead to hit albums, full stop.

Nicki Minaj spans all of these genres; she's a new queen of hip-hop who sings like an R&B diva and aspires to pop domination. If anyone should need a big radio hit to become a best-selling star, it's her. So it's a total head-scratcher that only this week, Minaj scores her first Top 10 pop hit—a year after she dropped her first major-label single, and more than four months after Pink Friday topped the album chart.

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Green Day's American Idiot Musical: Now With 100% More Green Day!

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Alessandra Mello
What do you do when your just-opened and already somewhat ailing rock opera musical cum swearfest gets out of the gate real slow, and is, by night two, already the subject of some imaginative critical grave dancing? (Our own Rob Harvilla, say: "the result, though vivid and lurid and imaginatively depraved, is also somewhat inarticulate, spraying its boilerplate discontent at no one in particular, with a lotta standard-issue bitching about The Media and The Man." Read on for the funny parts.) Invite the three dudes who actually make up the real life Green Day to play your encore, of course.


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News Roundup: The Walkmen, Green Day, Jay Reatard

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--The Walkman have announced a fall tour. The band, still supporting last year's massive You and Me, will play the already-announced Guggenheim August 14 as part of the It Came from Brooklyn series and then play a stacked double-bill with Dinosaur Jr. in Central Park on August 16. The rest of the dates are here.


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News Roundup: Pearl Jam, Wavves, Green Day, Dr. Dog

Categories: Green Day

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--Pearl Jam have put together an online scavenger hunt to promote upcoming album Backspacer. The band has placed nine images (designed by political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow) thoughout the internet (view one here). If you find all nine images, Eddie Vedder will play a private acoustic concert in your living room with a setlist of your choice. Just kidding. You get a free download.

--Wavves have announced a fall tour following frontman Nathan Williams' surgery for a broken wrist. The band will play two New York gigs: September 24 at Santos Party House (tickets here) and the following night at some as yet undetermined location, courtesy of Todd P. For a taste of what to expect, our own Rob Harvilla caught Wavves' post-meltdown gig earlier this month at the Bowery Ballroom.

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Live: Green Day Play God at Bowery Ballroom

Green Day
Bowery Ballroom
Monday, May 18

I love a good "The First Time We Played New York City" story, and Green Day's, predictably, is hilarious. "We've been a band for 21 years -- fuckin' thank you very much," declares Billie Joe Armstrong, sincerely. "The first time we played here, we opened for Bad Religion at Roseland Ballroom." Roughly two decades later they are ungodly huge, the rapturously praised 21st Century Breakdown the toast of newspapers and Twitters everywhere, revving up for a summer playing the Madison Square Gardens of the world with a buncha "secret" slumming club gigs, wherein they regale us with molotov-cocktail pop-punk tunes called "Christians Inferno," "Know Your Enemy," "Jesus of Suburbia," and "East Jesus Nowhere." Jesus, this is weird.

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