Details
Location:
924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, CA
Date:
March 16, 1990
Other Acts:
Neurosis (headliner), Mr. T Experience, Samiam
Notes:
  • Billie Joe Armstrong: "We were putting out an album, so we were expected to play last. We were like, 'This is bullshit.' Mr. T Experience was a bigger band - they were playing Berkeley Square and in San Francisco clubs."
  • Rolling Stone: "In the hallway is a locker from Armstrong's old high school, retrieved by his brother, who was a custodian there, during a remodeling. Inside is a sticker advertising a March 16th, 1990, Green Day concert. ('Isn't that crazy?' Armstrong says, pointing it out.)"
  • Chris Appelgren: "I remember going to the record release show with Larry. Larry really wanted Green Day to play second to last, right before Neurosis? but Billie Joe was really nervous and uncertain about that. He felt that Mr. T Experience was a much bigger and more established band and Green Day should play before them, but Larry was insistent that because they had released an album, they should play after them. The show was huge and totally sold out. Neurosis played Word As Law in its entirety plus their Joy Division cover [Day Of The Lords]. I sold merch for all the bands and I remember driving home in Larry's red Toyota truck pulling money out of all of my pockets. I counted over $3,000 which was more money than I'd ever seen, I couldn't believe I had it stuffed in all the pockets of my crummy pants. It was unbelivably exciting. I didn't know how successful the label or the bands would be but it was the most exciting and interesting thing to me in the whole world."
  • Flipside: "Well, this show seemed like the Can't-Miss of the Month so undaunted by distance factors, Al, stf and I piled into my car and off we went to San Francisco! Five hours and fifteen minutes later (just set the cruise control on eighty, pull off the shoes, plug in the Buzzcocks tapes and turn on the radar detector, no prob), we screeched into Berkeley with time enough to spare for a quick walk up Telegraph to buy some comic books for KRK and have a couple of beers to boot. ... Green Day has a LP out now on Lookout called 39/Smooth which I've borrowed from Al's Public Record Library many a time. Al Sobrante was looking mighty suave tonight doing something quite different that when I last saw him in Isocracy; really pop-punk oriented but unlike Samiam, Green Day go more of the pop route. Now don't think I talking 'pop' in terms like the Oingo fuckin' Boingo or something, Green Day would go right in the middle of the 'punk section' in any half decent record store but are still miles away from headlining thrashers Neurosis. Think in terms of a suburban Undertones or something, add a great deal of teenage exuberance and a punk attitude and I'm a new fan. I MIGHT even forgive Lawrence if I have to BUY the record."
  • Larry Livermore: "We scheduled an album for later that year, but threw together a quick 7" single so we could add MTX to the March record release show we'd planned for the Green Day and Neurosis albums. Samiam had just done a Lookout single, too, so they'd be the fourth band on the bill. Two of Samiam's members, Jason Beebout and Martin Brohm, had been in Isocracy with Green Day's Al Sobrante. While this didn't necessarily have to lead to a rivalry between the two bands, Al made sure it did. When Samiam were starting out, one of their members offhandedly told an interviewer that they saw their band as more serious than Isocracy had been. That was all it took to send Al on a full-fledged crusade, printing flyers denouncing Samiam as 'sellouts', even staging one-man picket lines to discourage people from attending their shows. Samiam laughed off Al's antics for the most part, but they weren't laughing when they'd realised they'd be opening for his band at the release party. Even though Green Day's new album was one of the main reasons 400 people were lined up outside Gilman that night, Samiam complained bitterly that they shouldn't have to play first. I had decided the band order weeks in advance: Neurosis and Green Day would headline, since both had LPs coming out. Because Neurosis had a couple years' seniority on Green Day, they would play last. Using the same logic for the 7" bands, Samiam had to play before the Mr. T Experience, who'd been around five years longer. They finally agreed to the opening slot - the alternative I offered them was not to play at all - but a couple of them barely spoke to me for the next year or so. It was the only semi-sour note on an otherwise astounding night. All four bands were greeted like superstars - and deserved it. While some thought groups as radically different as Neurosis and Green Day would make for a weird combination, the lovestruck teenage anthems of 39/Smooth flowed seamlessly into the stark, subsuming majesty of The World As Law. There'd been moments scattered throughout the first couple of years when I'd caught myself thinking, 'Whoa, Lookout is kind of turning into a big deal.' In the wake of that March 16, 1990 show, there was no longer any doubt of it."
Photos from Berkeley, CA
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Setlist
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