Green Day | 08.11.09

green-day2.jpgThis show could very well be the deal of the century






w/ Franz Ferdinand
at Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo.
Show 8pm | $25-$49.50 | All Ages

The perpetual boy-men of Green Day sure have come a long way from the snotnosed SoCal (s)punks who named their major label debut after, uh, poo. Years after that knockout, and what appeared to be a career-ending slump of uninspired, unfocused releases, came the multiplatinum-selling 2004 blockbuster, American Idiot—an angry F.U. to our former president packaged as a “punk opera” explosion of relentlessly hooky three-chord anthems. The band was refocused, pissed-off, and totally rocking, managing an unlikely career rebirth as the latest BIGGEST BAND IN THE WORLD. Cue the eyeliner!

Five years, five hit singles, two Grammys, and 12 million copies later, fans’ biggest concern was just how the band could follow up such an ambitious, watershed record. After a (very) slight detour with name-that-classic-garage-rock-riff side project Foxboro Hot Tubs, comes the band’s eighth studio release, this May’s Butch Vig–produced 21st Century Breakdown—an angry F.U. to the World, etc., packaged as a “punk opera” explosion of relentlessly hooky three-chord anthems. Sound familiar? It should—this cycle of songs might as well have been titled American Idiot 2 for all of its predecessor’s continued themes and arrangements on display. But here’s the thing: It’s every bit as good—and every bit as fun and inspired—as American Idiot. The rock’s never been better—songs like first single “Know Your Enemy,” “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades,” and “Christian’s Inferno” are readymade arena anthems of the fist pumping variety, exploding from the speakers like short-wicked digital dynamite. And while the verse of second single “21 Guns” at first smacks of an exercise in re-writing their monster hit “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” all is forgiven when the optimistic major chords and soaring falsetto vocals of the chorus kick in with a New Classic Hook™ that’ll keep teenagers tuning in for many summers to come.

Green Day’s current summer tour—their first jaunt through North America in over three years—features the original lineup of singer-guitarist Billy Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool, augmented by two guitarists and a keyboardist to flesh out the band’s increasingly stacked, turn-on-a-dime arrangements. With fan-friendly prices low enough for the current crop of snotnosed (s)punks to attend en masse—tickets range from $25 to $49.50—not to mention the addition of smokin’ hot support act Franz Ferdinand, this show could very well be the deal of the century. | Brian McClelland

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