Monday, October 5, 2009

Green Day Concert

I have a simple solution to the obesity crisis in our secondary schools:

Require attendance at a 2-hour Green Day concert 3 times a week.

The combination of arm waving, hand clapping, fist thrusting, finger pointing, and moshing and jumping will whip them into shape by the time they graduate. Of course, they will also be permanently hearing-impaired and maybe even a little bruised.

Green Day played at Bercy (officially Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy or POPB) Sunday night to a packed indoor arena of 18,000 crazy fans.





They started a few minutes after 8p and finished almost exactly 2 intense hours later. The set list can be found here.

We had floor tickets and the original plan was to see how close we could get to the stage. We got to about 100 ft when the concert started and it became immediately clear that we would be risking some serious bruising and maybe a few loose elbows to the face if we tried to work our way forward so we stayed back a little, which also made it a little easier for Amanda to see.

Although the music was loud, it was clean and therefore bearable.

Billie Joe Armstrong (can you really have a rock star named Billie Joe?), the lead singer singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the group was an interesting character. From the looks of his painted squirrel-face, he may even be the lead make-up artist also.

Early on he complimented Paris for being the most beautiful city in Europe, having toured here since 1994, and repeatedly proclaimed Merci beaucoup!.

He also worked the crowd as if he were conducting them, frequently prompting them to respond to some gesture or guitar lick or vocal question.

On several occasions he lifted fans onto the stage to lead the crowd in singing one of the songs. One guy kissed him on the lips. A girl literally threw up which necessitated a changing of the microphone for Billie Joe! Three or four of the guys threw themselves into the crowd after finishing, although security was in strong force to keep moshing to a minimum.

Because many people in the front risk heat exhaustion due to the exertion and density of the crowd, Armstrong sprayed the crowd down with power water guns attached to a hose on two or three occasions.

One time he even mooned the crowed, although I have no idea what that was about.

Typically bands play their new stuff at the beginning before moving on to their more popular older songs, which is what the crowd usually wants to hear. In Amanda's case, she just bought their new album and that was about all she knew. As a result, she loved the first part of the concert since they played familiar songs but was pretty lost on the second half, which was the exact opposite experience for most of the crowd.

The energy level was even greater than Coldplay last month (although I probably preferred Coldplay) but an enclosed arena of 18,000 lends itself to that more than an open stadium of 50,000.

A few pics of the concert are below as well as one 10-minute video clip from my iPhone. Another blogger has reviewd the concert here and you can see many other videos from the same concert on YouTube.






video

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