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Details
Location:
Worcester Centrum in Worcester, MA
Date:
November 03, 1995
Other Acts:
The Riverdales
Notes:
  • The setlist is out of order
  • The Boston Globe: "WORCESTER - You'd have to be numb to the idea of worldly pleasure to not have enjoyed a good chunk of Green Day's sold-out concert at Worcester Centrum last night. Hey, it was alienation, aggression and rejection all wrapped up in spikey, but listener-friendly, punk-pop melodies and played at rat-a-tat rhythms. All to make you pogo, sneer and smile. But you'd also have to be brain-dead vis-a-vis the history of punk rock to not see and hear antecendents everywhere, and figure Green Day to be very canny, successful, manipulators and emulators. Let's see: Billie Joe Armstrong plays guitar like the Clash's Joe Strummer and sings in a faux Brit accent a la Strummer and Mick Jones; he affects a hunchback stance like the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten; he writes songs like Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley; and, at the end, for When I Come Around, he appeared buck-naked (save shoes, socks and strategically placed guitar) like the Damned's Capt."
  • Boston Phoenix: "'Are you having fun?' Billie Joe Armstrong yelled to the reserved-seat crowd at the Worcester Centrum last Friday. Then he added, 'I bet you're not having as much fun as these guys!' And he gestured to the crowd standing in front of him who'd bought general-admission tickets for the Centrum floor. Those people also provided the extra-musical reason for this show's success as a great, liberating spectacle - one that had virtually nothing to do with arena-rock production effects and everything to do with band-audience interaction.
    It would be hard to imagine this show without that frenzied, moshing GA mass. Throughout the concert, portions of the standing crowd threw itself into whorls. But during more uptempo tunes - or the uptempo choruses of slower songs - the entire crowd, observed from the grandstand, looked like some indiscriminate hysterical swarm, right out of an insect special on the Discovery Channel. (Army ants on fresh meat? A killer-bee hive under attack?) During the opening act by the Chicago trio the Riverdales (rhythmically acute Ramones lovers undercut by the usual opening-band sound murk) grandstanders had made occasional rushes for the gates onto the floor and been held back by security. But when Green Day broke into Welcome to Paradise, their third song, the dam broke: down at least one aisle seen from across the hall, a crowd poured like molten lava through a gate and into the arena-length mosh pit. It would be mistaken to underestimate Green Day's musical performance in this equation. Yes, it was loud and fast, but the simplicity of Green Day's material can be overstated. The three-chord A-A-B-A and A-B-A song structures wind each piece tight, into little punk-rock vortexes, at the same time that their keening melodies and precisely inserted vocal harmonies (between Billie Joe and bassist Mike Dirnt) expand them outward and upward. With the audience singing along to every word of Longview, it was easy to admire the textbook use of a bridge in a pop song at the same time that you felt your body lift. It also doesn't hurt that this seems to be a outfit utterly without pretension. If some rockers play Dionysus and Lucifer, Billie Joe is the trickster Puck, mugging, bringing an under-15 boy up from the pit and encouraging him to yell 'Fuck off!' to the audience, or stripping off his own clothes for the final encore and strutting around the stage, like a three-year-old, fresh out of the bath and into the parents' living room. Forget political punk, this was liberating art for art's sake."
  • Boston Herald: "The setting: Last summer, hot-off-Woodstock-multiplatnium rockers Green Day played a free outdoor concert at the Hatch Shell on Boston's Charles River Esplanade. An unexpected hundred thousand fans started rioting after authorities and sponsors literally pulled the plug midway through the event. On the band's first area appearance since that headline-creating fiasco, the question on many people's minds was: would the audience be able to control itself? 7:20 PM EST: As the mostly teenage crowd patiently waits to be frisked before entering the arena, a group of 14-year-old girls discuss security measures: 'They won't let us have chains?' one says. 'That's very, very bad.' 7:21 PM EST: Inside the men's room, clandestine teens reattach chains to wallets and belt loops. 'They're not gonna look for us in here,' reasons one. 7:22 PM EST: From the plush skybox press seats, courtesy of Reprise Records, one could hardly help noticing the sea of mint-colored heads that swirled below. Home dye jobs, courtesy of mom (how punk!), were de rigueur that night. Hm, Black Flag fans were never this devoted, they just got tattoos. 7:40 PM EST: Opening act the Riverdales take the stage and suddenly I'm at a Ramones show. Not only does the band's breakneck delivery, non-stop guitars and Ramones-sounding vocals inspire this feeling, but the guitarist's uncanny resemblance to Johnny Ramone further enforces it. 7:45 PM EST: In true Ramones fashion, the Riverdales kick off their second number with the infamous '1-2-3-4' chant. 7:50 PM EST: Between songs, the Riverdales' guitarist takes time out to heckle an audience member about securing his own place in the general-admission floor. 'How'd you get that space all to yourself?' he asks. 'By pushing 13-year-old girls out of the way? That's totally ballsy.' 7:55 PM EST: After seeing an audience member climb upon another's belly for a feeble faux stage-dive, I ponder this move's origin. Perhaps after seeing too many Pearl Jam videos, young pit pups - wanting to idolize their hero, Eddie Vedder - realized they needed to jump off of something to be 'cool' at one of today's concerts. And, not being guileful enough to scramble their way onstage, they made do with the next best (i.e., closest) thing. A real Vanilla Ice move. 8:00 PM EST: A sudden breach in security opens a window of opportunity for several hundred Green Day fans, allowing them to spill out of their pricier reserved seats and slip among the masses swarming on the floor below. An unlucky handful are corralled by security and returned to their seats. 8:12 PM EST
    Just a thought: Some of the kids here are as rebellious as the Gap's fall colors. 8:30 PM EST: A nearby conversation between two local rock scribes draws my attention: S1: 'How'd you hurt your wrist?' S2: 'I was masturbating.' S1: 'I thought you were writing.' 8:35 PM EST: Green Day kick off their show with Armatage Shanks. Instrumentally, it sounds great, but lead singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong's vocals sound awful, when you can hear them. Judging by the frenzied Muppet-like moshing going on below, no one seems to notice or care. 8:37 PM EST: Great, people are already throwing stuff at the band. That's how last year's nightmare started. 8:38 PM EST: Bassist Mike Dirnt comments on action in the pit. 'We got the tough guy circle over here.' he says, pointing. 'C'mon, I'll take you all on,' he taunts, knowing he's safe atop a six foot stage surrounded by security gorillas. Armstrong announces he has diarrhea, then launches into Welcome to Paradise. 8:40 PM EST: The damn gates burst and a human deluge spills to the floor. Everyone (except security) is happy. 8:47 PM EST: Even a row of cynical, hardened rock journalists bob their heads in unison to the commanding, rubbery bass line Dirnt lays down at the beginning of Geek Stink Breath. The kid's in Fleas' league. 8:50 PM EST: Armstrong scolds the crowd for not helping out those experiencing pit peril, then launches into the choppy, blistering Chump. There's more headbanging going on here than at a Metallica concert. Just a thought: although punk may be about alienation and/or individuality, it certainly unified last night's crowd. OK, at least for an hour. The shower of flying objects never stops. 8:52 PM EST: Armstrong comes out in a gorilla mask to lead the crowd in a chant of 'Sa-tan!' No one's impressed, and the audience only makes a halfhearted effort to appease punk's court jester. 9:00 PM EST: First mohawk sighting! Neon pink, about one foot tall, straight up and out. 9:05 PM EST: In the 'tough guy' part of the pit, I spot a varsity jacket. Punk jock? I guess now that it's the 90's everything's cool. 9:10 PM EST: Armstrong pulls a nine-year-old out of the crowd to have him yell: 'Fuck you!' at the masses. 'I think your dad wants you back now,' the singer teases after the task is completed. 9:11 PM EST: During No Pride, it registers: Armstrong's vocals are coming through clearly. 9:15 PM EST: Armstrong pours water on the near-expired crowd in much the same way a priest blesses his followers. Has Green Day's power pop with attitude replaced religion as the opiate of the masses? It seems to have done so here. 9:25 PM EST: The band winds down the first part of the show with a stereotypical arena rock instrumental crescendo. Are they spoofing themselves or is this as awful as it seems? 9:26 PM EST: Holy Bon Jovi, Batman! People are hoisting lighters at a Green Day gig! 9:30 PM EST: During the encore, Armstrong takes the stage to play When I Come Around wearing only his guitar and socks. Was the pun intentional? While playing, he turns around and offers the crowd a butt-cheek rumba, then spins back, lifts his tactfully-placed instrument and gives thousands a peek at his privates. The band closes the show with Bab's Uvula Who? And the last people see of the band is a roadie wrapping Armstrong in a towel. Ah, the life of a rock star, being swaddled like a babe... Epilogue: Even though the members of Green Day couldn't restrain themselves (and who wouldn't have felt gypped if they had?), thankfully, the crowd was able to. And at the end of the night, everyone returned to their suburban castles for a good night's sleep, instead of being carted off to a jail cell. And they all lived happily ever after... The end?"
Photos from Worcester, MA
Send your own photos for this show to photos@greendayauthority.com
Setlist
1. Armatage Shanks
2. Brat
3. Welcome To Paradise
4. Geek Stink Breath
5. Chump
6. Longview
7. No Pride
8. Dominated Love Slave
9. All By Myself
10. Knowledge (Operation Ivy cover)
11. Road To Acceptance
12. She
13. 2,000 Light Years Away
14. Basket Case
15. 86
16. Paper Lanterns
17. When I Come Around
18. Bab's Uvula Who?
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