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Lehigh University, Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, PA
November 11, 1995
Other Acts:
The Riverdales
  • Recordings from this show can be found here
  • John Anders: "Regarding Geoff Gehman's review of the Green Day concert at Stabler Arena, he obviously wasn't at the same show I was. Green Day was very original, inventive and quite entertaining. Every song the band played sounded clear, quite different from the band's other material, and was eagerly welcomed by the sold-out crowd. I worked this show as part of the stage crew, and lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong took the time to talk to us 'roadies' and even signed autographs, while 99 percent of other performers are whisked away to their limos or tour buses and don't even acknowledge the people who make the shows happen."
  • Geoff Gehman: "It's a strangely entertaining sight, watching three droning musicians prodding dozens of young listeners to slam, surf and surge like worker bees. That, however, was Green Day's only notable accomplishment on Saturday in a sold-out Stabler Arena. Like many of today's neo-punkers, the band has precious few musical weapons and a merely mild bad streak.
    The first seven songs were virtually indistinguishable; certainly, the often clever nose-thumbing lyrics were. Guitarist Billie Joe and bassist Mike Dirnt ground out short, monotonous trembling lines, building impenetrable banks of noise. When Billie Joe finally broke the boredom, he soloed with three equally spaced notes; Neil Young he isn't. The band's idea of a bridge? Joe left the stage, Dirnt covered with bounding, trumped-up passages, and Joe returned with barely in-tune, out-of-the-ballpark squawking. These faults could have been ignored if Green Day had been shrink-wrap-tight. But drummer Tre Cool's well-mixed, surprisingly spry accents never jelled with Dirnt's rolling, trolling licks, and both were undercut by Armstrong's insistence on being a madman rather than a musician. With his unruly red hair, goofy leer and wobbly run/walk, Armstrong was a cross between a mild Johnny Rotten and a bobbing-head car doll. For all his blustering, he delivered only one inventive routine. Toward the end of the show he shook water into the sweaty pit, blessing moshers by making a manic sign of the cross with first hands and then plastic bottle. The main problem with Green Day is that they have three toes in punk, three in rock. They lack the Sex Pistols' anarchy, the Ramones' ramrod, hang-loose diversity, R.E.M.'s grungy melodic riffs. They need two more chords, three more meters and a real snarl or two. The concert's one apparently spontaneous moment happened during the first encore. Cool returned to the stage alone to play martial, surfy electric guitar. After Dirnt and Joe (on drums) joined him, the tune branched into a hysterical western 1-1/2-stepper. It was dedicated to Jeff; perhaps they meant Jeffrey Howorth, the local teen who, before being acquitted of murdering his parents, jotted a Green Day lyric on a schoolbook cover. The song in question is Having a Blast, which on Saturday this reviewer didn't. Preceding Green Day were the Riverdales, a group with even fewer assets. Bassist Dan Schafer, guitarist Ben Foster and drummer Dan Sullivan should have carpal tunnel syndrome for their hyperactive, utterly predictable slinging and bashing. Abrupt conclusions, count-offs and combat stances made them seem like a Ramones parody. An absolute disregard for contrast and tunefulness made them perfect mascots for The Flintstones."
Photos from Bethlehem, PA
Send your own photos for this show to photos@greendayauthority.com
1. Armatage Shanks
2. Brat
3. Geek Stink Breath
4. Chump
5. Longview
6. Brain Stew
7. Jaded
8. 2,000 Light Years Away
9. Knowledge (Operation Ivy cover)
10. Basket Case
11. She
12. 86
13. Road To Acceptance
14. Paper Lanterns
15. All By Myself
16. Dominated Love Slave
17. When I Come Around
18. F.O.D.
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