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UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL
November 22, 1995
Other Acts:
The Riverdales
  • Incomplete setlist
  • Devin Rose: "Start drooling! The kids on this page got hold of the hottest tickets in town recently and saw punk-meisters Green Day. We caught up with the kids outside UIC Pavilion before the concert to catch a glimpse of the fashion scene. Coatless fans huddled and shivered as they waited in line - they knew they looked cool and would feel totally hot once they hit the dance floor. Besides that chillin' scene, we spotted a few other cool looks. Take a peek."
  • Greg Kot: "In the warp-speed world of punk, Green Day's 1991 Kerplunk! album is a mold-ridden artifact from another era. Way back in '91, the notion of any punk band playing to a full house at the UIC Pavilion, as Green Day did Wednesday, would have been ludicrous. From that long ago age of innocence, Green Day plucked a tune called 2,000 Light Years Away, about a lovesick boy pining away the night. On Green Day's new album, Insomniac, singer Billie Joe Armstrong still isn't getting much sleep, only now he's fretting about darker stuff.
    In the world of Kerplunk! and the 1994 Dookie, Green Day wrote about slackers caught in the limbo between adolescence and adulthood. Now Armstrong's characters are a year older, and the ante has risen. Drug addiction, patricide, lost dignity, death - it's all 'anguish (and) mass confusion', as he sings on Panic Song. But even at its most nihilistic, Green Day plays it with a wink and we're-all-in-this-mess-together nod. When self-pity threatens to creep in, the melodies just get more boisterous, the tempos more urgent. At the Pavilion, the fun was in watching Armstrong accent every nasal syllable out of his mouth with a downstroke on his guitar, a rubbery right arm threatening to pull free of its shoulder socket with every chord. Even after selling 8 million copies of Dookie and becoming a father, Armstrong still sounds and acts like the show-off 8th grader preening in the cafeteria. Look, kids, watch me play my guitar behind my head! And check out my encyclopedic knowledge of naughty words! Did ya hear I got arrested in Milwaukee for mooning the audience? It was all in harmless fun, and the band and the audience - jammed against the stage in the hockey-rink-size mosh pit - were mirror images of exuberance, with flying leg splits by Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt. At times, Green Day deviated from their succession of three-chord pop singles - Longview, Basket Case, Geek Stink Breath - for some Who-style instrumental pyrotechnics, led by Tre Cool's surging drums. But generally, the band was its best playing the songs unembellished from their musically interchangeable albums. Green Day, perhaps realizing the limits of playing songs which essentially vary the sequence of only a handful of chords, barely played an hour. They may not be innovators, but Green Day knows the value of humor and brevity. Even more compact was the opening set by the Riverdales, an offshoot of the legendary northwest suburban band Screeching Weasel. The new incarnation is less earnest lyrically, and the songs unabashedly recall the stripped-down melodies of the Ramones, right down to the Johnny Ramone haircut of guitarist Ben Foster."
Photos from Chicago, IL
Send your own photos for this show to photos@greendayauthority.com
1. 2,000 Light Years Away
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