Green Day 9/15 Nokia Music Launch Concert at Irving Plaza Review

By Michel Dussack

Last time Green Day were in New York, they announced a last minute pre-Halloween show at the super intimate Studio at Webster Hall. The band used that show as an opportunity to practice unreleased material and gauge crowd reactions to help determine what songs would make their new album. Several months later, the band announced that they would not be releasing just one new album; they would be releasing a trilogy of albums entitled ‘Uno!’, ‘Dos!’, and ‘Tre!’ respectively. For their latest intimate New York show, the band played Irving Plaza, a venue of great significance for them, as they had their first headlining show ever at the venue all the way back in 1994. Many fans won tickets to the show, which was also the official Nokia Music launch event, through Green Day’s Facebook page, though several hundred fans with quick fingers were able to purchase tickets online as well.

When Green Day took the stage at 10pm to the entire venue singing along with ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ and proceeded to start the night off with ‘Welcome to Paradise’, it was clear immediately that this was going to be an amazing show. Back in October the band seemed focused on playing new material perfectly, especially since it was being filmed for a documentary, however at Irving Plaza, the band was there to have fun. ‘Murder City’ and ‘Know Your Enemy’ followed, and much to fans surprise there were no other songs from ‘21st Century Breakdown’ played for the rest of what turned out to be a 38 song set that lasted over two and a half hours.

New material followed with six songs from ‘Uno!’ making appearances as well as a single song from ‘Dos!’. Of particular note was ‘Let Yourself Go’, one of the most aggressive songs the band has written in years, and ‘Kill the DJ’ which was more fleshed out than the recorded version. What came next was a flurry of hits, obscure rarities, and even more obscure covers, some of which was planned on the bands setlist and some of which came on the fly. At one point Billie Joe Armstrong looked down at his setlist and laughed remarking that the band was “so far off script it’s fucking amazing.” This was a band having a blast on stage playing whatever they felt like, joking around, and during ‘King for a Day”, wearing ridiculous costumes.

Their main set closed out with ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ which seemed odd given the vast amount of more upbeat songs they could’ve ended the set with. When the band returned, it was only for two songs – ‘American Idiot’ and the Occupy Wall Street inspired ’99 Revolutions’ which will be on ‘Tre!’. Before starting the song, Billie thanked the crowd again, encouraged them to buy the opening band’s (Lipstick Homicide) merchandise, and seemed to relish the fact that it was an election year. As the band closed out their marathon set, it was clear that despite what anyone has said about their musical style changing throughout the years, they are still one of the best live bands around who consistently deliver at every performance.

Green Day’s setlist:

    Welcome to Paradise
    Murder City
    Know Your Enemy
    Nuclear Family
    Stay the Night
    Stop When the Red Lights Flash
    Carpe Diem
    Let Yourself Go
    Kill the DJ
    Oh Love
    Hitchin’ a Ride
    Highwell to Hell/Crazy Train
    Brain Strew
    St. Jimmy
    Boulevard of Broken Dreams
    2000 Light Years Away
    Only of You
    Disappearing Boy
    Christie Road
    Coming Clean
    409 In Your Coffeemaker
    J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)
    Stuck With Me (with ‘86’ instrumental tease)
    At the Library
    Paper Lanterns
    When I Come Around
    King for a Day
    Shout/(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
    Wake Me Up When September Ends

    American Idiot
    99 Revolutions

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  1. Wish I could have been there. :) I’m assuming they ended the set with WMUWSE in honor of Billie Joe’s father. Billie posted a pic of his father on Instagram after the show – “Andrew Marsicano Armstrong.. September 16. 30 years has gone so fast”

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