At the 7/11 Where I Was Taught…

Green Day at Target Center

July 11, 2009

It had been almost four years since Green Day had played the Twin Cities, and I was giddy with anticipation.

We arrived at the arena a little after 7:00, anticipating that there would be a huge line for will call, but there wasn’t. There was a bit of a wait to get into the arena, but after about five minutes of shuffling through people, we made it in. After a quick stop for refreshments, we seated ourselves in section 129, row Z. We were the first section over from the stage on Mike’s side (schwoon) and we were in the very last row of the first level. We were a little relieved to have nobody behind us– it was nice to not be sandwiched between rows.

Before the show, people were sending text messages and photos to be displayed on the jumbotron. Pictures of pets were popular, and I sent a photo of my dogs. Soon, ten thousand people were looking at this:

Otis and Zoe

The music before the show varied from Sinatra’s “My Way” to Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” to “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” but it was all good.

The Bravery came on first, and they were pleasant. I wasn’t bowled over by them, and I doubt I would go see them the next time they came to town, but they had some good songs. I was only familiar with “Time Won’t Let Me Go” and “An Honest Mistake” but the rest of their songs were catchy, including two songs they played from their upcoming album.

The Bravery set list (courtesy of GreenDayAuthority.com forums):

  • Unconditional
  • Swollen Summer
  • Believe
  • Hate Fuck
  • Red Hands and White Knuckles
  • Time Won’t Let Me Go
  • Every Word Is A Knife In My Ear
  • An Honest Mistake

The music between sets was more upbeat, including Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”. Then they played The Ramones’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio” at a higher volume than the other songs, and we knew it was time for the real fun to begin.

The crowd was fantastic. People were attentive during the opening act, and once the main show started, everyone was on their feet singing at the top of their lungs, pumping their fists into the air. The two women beside me were really into it, and we all proceeded to rock our collective asses off.

Set list (courtesy of Star Tribune’s Pop Life Blog and GreenDayAuthority.com forums — the forums are an amazing source of information):

1. Song of the Century – I liked the way this began the main set and American Eulogy ended it, like bookends.

2. 21st century Breakdown – Oh, thank you god for answering my prayers, Mike is sleeveless. I mean, I knew there was a pretty good chance, but still…

3. Know Your Enemy

4. East Jesus Nowhere – Billie Joe called a 12-year-old boy onstage and “healed” him during this song. Then he set the kid loose with a Super Soaker on the crowd. I think this is also the part where I finally noticed Tre had bleached his hair, because I was so fixated on Mike’s biceps. I liked that they opened with three songs from the new album, like they did on the American Idiot tour.

5. Holiday

6. Static Age – This is my current favorite song on the album, and to see it live was amazing.

7. Before the Lobotomy

8. Are We the Waiting

9. St. Jimmy

10. Boulevard of Broken Dreams – I had initially seen this as part of the encore, but it fits really well here as part of the main set.

11. Hitchin’ a Ride – One, two, one, two, three, four!

12. Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne cover, intro only) – The band was goofing around and teasing the crowd with several introductions to songs.

13. Iron Man (Black Sabbath cover, intro only)

14. Master Of Puppets (Metallica cover, intro only)

15.Let’s Go Crazy (Prince cover) – Then they launched into this song for real, and played the entire song except for the guitar solo at the end. I was impressed with Billie Joe’s guitar work in the middle, though.

16.  Brain Stew

17. Jaded

18. Longview – They called three different people from the audience to sing this song. The first two were girls, and the second girl repeated the first verse. Then they called a guy up who completed the song and did a stage dive (with encouragement from the band) at the end.

19. Basket Case

20. She

21. King for a Day (including Shout/If My Friends Could See Me Now/Swannee/I’ll Be There/Stand By Me) – The band went into several different snippets of songs in the middle, which was fun. They all put on silly hats, and Jason Freese (playing sax) was dressed up like Michael Jackson and attempted to moo. Some people might say it’s too soon for that, but it was all in good fun and he was already present in other ways, when they played one of his songs before the show and when they put a bit of “I’ll Be There” in the medley.

22. 21 Guns – Lots of pyro during this one, including a sheet of sparklers falling from the ceiling above the stage.

23. American Eulogy

ENCORE

24. American Idiot

25. Jesus of Suburbia – They called a girl up to play guitar through the “Dearly Beloved” part. Although I’m glad she got to get up on stage with the band (and did a good job), this was the only part of the show that dragged, because they took a really long time to find someone who knew the song. From what I’ve seen, they normally have another person take over halfway through, too.

26. Minority

27. Minnesota Girl – This is an unreleased song Billie Joe wrote about his wife. He played it the last time he was here, too. We’re just lucky that way.

28. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

The banter contained tons of local references:

  • Billie Joe pointed to a fan who had been holding up an Oakland A’s hat and said, “Fuck the A’s! Twins baby! They kicked the White Sox’s asses the other night!”
  • Before one of the songs, Billie Joe came out dressed as a policeman and announced, “This is the Minneapolis police, the party is over” in a bit referring to the beginning of the album “Stink” by The Replacements.
  • Before singing “Know Your Enemy,” he remarked, “The day we recorded this song was the first day of the Republican Convention. The Republican Convention was here, right? We got those motherfuckers out of fucking office, right?” {The show wasn’t as cathartic as the previous show, when we were still under the Bush administration, and the whole Katrina debacle had just happened. It was still politically charged, and energetic, and I was still fully participating, just in a different way.)
  • After a reference to doobies (and perhaps after mooning the audience for the first time), he said, “My father in law isn’t here so I can say what ever I want!”
  • He also mentioned that he’s here a lot (his wife’s family still resides here), and he was in town on New Year’s Eve. (Seriously, if I ever ran into him at SuperAmerica or something, it would be the most awkward moment in my life. I would have no idea what to say and I’d be so completely awestruck that I’d probably pass out.)

Weird social commentary:

  • I loved the look of the people who were all called up on stage. None of them were posing and all of them had their hearts into it. Some bands would choose the thin, pretty, supermodel types, but the audience was really normal. Not to say that the people were hideous by any means, but everyone’s looks were attainable, and that felt refreshing. I just see so much airbrushed, contrived crap that on some level I start to believe that’s how I should be.
  • I loved the inter-generational feel of the show. I’m sure the band offended some people with swearing and masturbation references, but for the most part I think parents knew what they were getting into when they brought their kids along. Most of the kids were born after Dookie, so it was cool to see the band have a second revival with a new generation of fans. A lot of the text messages on the jumbotron before the show were from kids to parents (“thanks for bringing me to my first concert”) and vice versa (“enjoy your first show”). And how cool to have Green Day as your first live show?! They’d have some pretty high standards after that.
  • Did you know that we have two new saunas in the Twin Cities? The first is the Cedar Cultural Center, and the second is Target Center. Especially when the show involves lots of pyro, as it did at the latter venue. Not that it interrupted the fun, of course.

Links to other reviews:

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2 Responses to “At the 7/11 Where I Was Taught…”

  1. Ember Says:

    Just ran across this from the Star Tribune website–I’m one of those “first concert” kids. If the rest is a letdown after that, I still think it was worth it. Thank you for noting the date–I tried to text “Happy 7/11, the motto is just a lie” to the scoreboard but didn’t get it up in time.

  2. Michele Says:

    Hi Ember–
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I agree– it was totally worth it. And if you see concerts that even come close to that show, they will be amazing. I hope you get to see many great shows in the future!

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