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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

Green Day kicks off sold-out NYC show with a bang


When Green Day announced their Revolution Radio tour, I was undeniably ecstatic. There were 12 show dates, 11 cities, and each show was supposedly "intimate." And New York City was on that list.

Of course, I was on my computer at 9 a.m. for both the fan club pre-sale and the general public sale. Yet, at 9:01, all tickets were sold out. A normal person would have just sighed and went on with their life, hoping to get tickets on the next leg of the tour. But when you're a Green Day fan for over 15 years like myself, you'll stop at nothing to see the close-up sweat on Billie Joe Armstrong's face.

On Oct. 8, I drove an hour and a half to pick up my go-to concert buddy and best friend, Lupe, from school. Then, we made the hour long drive to the train station and hour and a half train ride to Grand Central. Although we didn't have tickets to the show at Webster Hall that night, nothing would come in our way.

Green Day was holding an Instagram contest. On the day of their show, the band would post an image of coordinates on their Instagram. If you were the first person to go to these coordinates and find the hidden boombox, you would win two tickets to that night's show. Now, of course, I looked into this beforehand. Each prior winner from the previous shows found the boombox in a music shop, tattoo shop, vinyl store, or something else Green Day-esque. The boomboxes were found only 20 minutes away from the venue in each city, and the clue was posted between 12 and 1 p.m.

Since we arrived at Grand Central at 10 a.m., we had the perfect amount of time to scope things out. While searching for cool shops near Webster Hall, we came across some clues printed on the ground. They read: "Green Day: Revolution Radio. Tonight 8 p.m." and had arrows.

Naturally, we followed these clues and were walking up and down the streets. Then, at 12:50 p.m., the clue was posted, yet the coordinates led to a shop in BROOKLYN. Horrified, and feeling pretty stupid for following these "clues" that led to nowhere around Manhattan, we jumped on the closest subway.

After running through random streets in Brooklyn and occasionally referring to the GPS while trying to outrun people behind us, I received a notification that someone had found the clue. Still, I was determined to get into this show. Around 2 p.m., we got in line and every half hour, would look around for scalpers selling tickets. When absolutely no one was around, I started to lose hope -- and resulted to Craigslist. Slowly, the line began to move and at 6 p.m., doors opened. We had to step out of line since, well, we didn't have actual tickets.

Then came Neil - our savior. Right after we stepped out of line, he posted a Craigslist ad that he was selling two tickets to the show, and everything seemed legit. He met us in line, exchanged the tickets with us, and just like that, we were into the show. God I love my luck.

The entire day's shenanigans were worth it when Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt hit the stage. The trio came out singing "Know Your Enemy," the 2009 classic hit off of 21st Century Breakdown. I could literally feel the floor shaking as the crowd jumped up and down in unison while head-banging to the heavy bass sound. They continued with new singles "Bang Bang" and "Revolution Radio" off of their brand new album just released the day before, Revolution Radio. Surprisingly, everyone in the crowd knew the lyrics - shouting them back at Armstrong as he danced around the stage and jumped off of speakers.

Throughout the night, Green Day made sure to provide the crowd with some of their greatest throwbacks - including "Holiday," "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," "Burnout," "Nice Guys Finish Last" and "Basket Case." At one point, Armstrong actually asked the audience what they wanted to hear, exclaiming, "We're going to play for you guys all night long." Abiding to the crowd's requests, the band played "Brat" off of their '95 record, Insomniac, and "She" off of their second album, Dookie.

The highlight of the night was when the band broke out into a huge jam session for "King for a day," followed by a combination of "Shout," "I Can't Get (No) Satisfaction" and the Beatles' "Hey Jude." In the middle of "Shout," Armstrong fell to the ground while singing and slowly, the other members started to crouch as well. Saxophonist Jason Freese actually continued to play his instrument from the floor - sending cheers and claps throughout the venue.

Of course, it would be too cliche for Green Day to end the night with "American Idiot" and "Jesus of Suburbia," so Armstrong came back on stage with his acoustic guitar for a second encore. He was all smiles as he sang "Ordinary World," a sweet ballad and final song off of Revolution Radio. To continue the mellow vibe, he finished the set with the '97 classic, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." For the final two and a half minutes, the crowd felt united as one - singing along to the well-known chorus.

I can honestly say that this was one of the greatest shows I've ever been to. Maybe it's because they're my favorite band, or because I barely made it into the venue, or because of the intimate nature. However, I would do it over and over again. Thank you, Green Day, for letting me have the time of my life.

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