Sept. 18, 2004

Green Day Plays Special Chicago Show, Debuts “American Idiot”

By Randy J. Klodz

It might have been just one day after half-way to St. Patrick’s Day, but Chicago got it’s fill of green of Green Day when the punk-rock icons took to Chicago’s sold-out Vic Theatre on Sept. 18 as part of the band’s four-city special tour to preview the Sept. 21 release of “American Idiot,” the band’s first release in four years.

There Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong stood, perched atop the front stage monitors, as he greeted the sold-out Vic Theatre with his arms raised as though he was being crucified as punk-rock’s messiah.

Along with Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Green Day also includes Mike Dirnt (bass) and Tre Cool (drums). Other additional musicians that joined Green Day on stage included various guitarists, a backing vocalist and a keyboard maestro.

Dressed in a short-sleeved black dress shirt with a red tie—Armstrong led his band through a special set that featured every track, from start-to-finish, of the album “American Idiot.” This format gave fans a live record release party of sorts, with the only other lucky cities being Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. Tre Cool wore a red dress shirt with black tie, but apparently Dirnt didn’t get the Green Day dress code memo and ditched his tie and wore a sleeve-less black cut-off shirt.

As “American Idiot,” the title track of the new album is the first song on the album, Green Day first got the crowd moving with the rocking new single. With the “American Idiot” music video getting steady rotation on MTV, most of the fans in attendance were familiar with the song’s lyrics. Most of those in attendance didn’t know lyrics to any of the other new songs, but the buzzing crowd ate up the new material.

Rocking tracks such as “Give Me Novacaine,” “Jesus of Suburbia,” “She’s a Rebel” and “Letterbomb” kept the crowd on its toes, while lighter flames were abound during the mellow “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Green Day later returned to play several older tracks that included “Minority” and a cover of Queen’s “We are the Champions,” among other selections.

Green Day is scheduled to start a full tour with New Found Glory and Sugarcult issued as support on Oct. 19 at Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. That tour is scheduled to hit Chicago soil at UIC Pavilion on Nov. 8, with tickets scheduled to go on sale to the public on Oct. 2. For more information on Green Day log on to www.greenday.com.

Green Day Photo: Marina Chavez