Well, that's Walmart out of the way. But the title says a lot about the tongue-tied delight of a great rock show, and Green Day played plenty of 'em on their last tour. This set is a contagious account of the power-fun streak that still runs through the band even after the two punk operas. There is ancient mayhem from 1990's 39/Smooth and '91's Kerplunk as well as a new grenade, "Cigarettes and Valentines." Billie Joe Armstrong thoroughly enjoys his spotlight: shouting, cursing and letting audiences take whole verses of "American Idiot" and "Good Riddance." And drummer Tré Cool is way up in the mix, channeling the Clash's Topper Headon and the Who's Keith Moon with precise demonic glee.
Ah, the live album. As the major-label record industry continues to wither, the idea of the live album as a stopgap commercial product to tide over fans between studio albums still lingers. Which isn’t to say all live albums are cynical releases intended as money-grabs. There are plenty of good-to-great live performance documents out there.
Green Day’s live souvenir of their 21st Century Breakdown tour satisfies without surprising. This is the name of the game for the kind of tour Green Day mounts in the 21st century. No longer playing smaller theaters, they fill the biggest stages, performing the kinds of sets where even accidents aren’t left to chance, so this resulting roundup of highlights from Dallas to Detroit, Brisbane to Nickelsdorf sounds like they all could have come from the same show, so precise is the band’s attack.
Awesome as F—, a live album, doubles as both a high-octane greatest-hits collection and a not-always-flattering portrait of the band’s evolution from bratty Northern California punks to stadium-rock juggernaut. The trio sound as if they’re playing louder just to be heard over the crowd noise and the fireworks. Then there’s the cheerleading straight out of a Kiss show, circa 1975: ”Let’s go crazy!” ”Let me hear you scream!” ”Clap those hands!” Spinal Tap couldn’t have scripted it better.
Latest live release from snotty punks turned stadium-rock royalty. Alistair Lawrence 2011 Green Day’s last two studio albums have been divided up into three distinct acts. Their latest live album does the same with their career, from the raw and snotty distant past to their part as princes in the mid-90s pop-punk explosion, on to their latter day reboot as stadium rock royalty.