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Edgefest, Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, AB
July 08, 1998
Other Acts:
Bif Naked, Creed, Econoline, Crush, Foo Fighters, Holly McNarland, Matthew Good Band, Moist, Rusty Sandbox, Sloan, The Inbreds, The Killjoys, The Tea Party, Watchmen, Wide Mouth Mason
  • Incomplete setlist
  • Bill Welychka: "I recall an interview with Green Day in 1998 while I was covering the Edgefest tour for MuchMusic. The assignment took me across Canada shooting daily and filing stories on the Foo Fighters, Moist, Sloan, The Tea Party, Creed and others. In Edmonton, at Commonwealth Stadium, I interviewed Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt from Green Day while riding a golf cart. Our cameraman positioned himself sitting on the front framing Tre and Mike driving with me kneeling in the back doing the interview with Mike driving around the VIP area. Good idea, right? Visual and unique! That is until the interview took a turn for the worse. Literally. Mike made a sharp turn without slowing down and the force threw me off the speeding golf cart. I was holding on to the microphone the entire time. The mic picked up the sound of a solid thud as my skull hit the pavement. (I made sure the mic didn't actually hit the ground though. It was an expensive piece of equipmen.) The band stopped the golf cart and reversed it to pick me up. I'm a trooper and the show must go on. We finished the interview. After a few moments of making sure I was OK, Mike offered me a ride on their tour bus to the next stop in Calgary ... wanting to ensure I was fine. Since there was no blood, I declined and opted to fly with our cameraman. In Calgary, I met up with their bus driver Jack Williams and he relayed the story about how the boys felt bad and wanted to make sure I was OK. He told me they were more concerned about being sued than for my safety. 'Time of Your Life' indeed! I cite this bad smash to the head for recent memory lapses I have had since then."
  • "OK, I admit it - I've never understood the 'punk rock' thing. Take spit, for instance. Being purposely spit upon is usually considered a terrible insult. It's what brave men do before being shot by a firing squad. But in punk rock circles, it's a tribute. It's manna from punk heaven. Fans come away from punk concerts happy, exhausted and just a little bit damp. Weird, no? The same goes for the way punk rockers tell their fans, 'We love you! You're the best!' in a manner that can't be printed in a family newspaper. There's punk 'dancing,' which to many observers looks like a soccer riot. And let's not even discuss punk 'fashion.' So it was with great interest that I finally had a chance to interview Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day. Considered one of the most influential punk rock bands of the '90s, the trio is among 13 edgy rock bands playing Edgefest at Commonwealth Stadium on Wednesday. ... The band is touring on its latest album, Nimrod. Note the self-deprecating album title. Before Armstrong became fed up with my stupid questions and hung up on me, some remarkable insights were gained into the mind and myths of 'punk rock.' First of all, he explains, there are many 'factions' of punk rock. He insists that his opinion on the matter is just a personal viewpoint. Conclusion: Punk is a personal thing. 'It's about celebrating your insecurities,' Armstrong says. 'A lot of people were into these different things that I wasn't into in school, sports and cheerleading, whatever. I wouldn't want to call myself an outcast. I think I was just more invisible. I wasn't a nerd or anything like that. I just sort of didn't really exist. And punk was a completely different world that I could relate to that no one else could. And I was sort of proud of that. I still am.' Point No. 2: Punk is hard to explain. Says he, 'It's almost like trying to describe a smell. It smells like dirt and Pine Sol. Maybe if you hung out with me and my friends for a couple of days, that would be the best way to understand it.' (Note to self: This is not likely to happen.) Another thing about punk: It need not sound like punk at all. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), the mellow first single from the new album, was such a departure from the in-your-face previous work of Green Day that 'a lot of people didn't even know it was us,' Armstrong laughs. But it's still punk: 'A song like that is so vulnerable, and in a way, that's sort of what punk is. Instead of throwing your insecurities into a closet somewhere and keeping your guard up all the time, it's like celebrating it. Yeah, even Green Day can have a tender moment. I don't really care what people think. I just write my songs and that's it.' 'I put myself on the line as far as whatever credibility is concerned and there was reaction to it. Everybody knows that, the whole sellout thing. But I'm not going to beat some 15-year-old kid over the head to tell him what punk rock means. Or just because some 35-year-old stockbroker bought my CD doesn't mean I'm going to sit here and worry about whether or not he identifies with punk rock. It's just a song. I know what it means to me and sometimes I'm not even sure I know how to explain it.' Conclusion: Analysis of punk is perhaps best (or worst) left to journalists. That goes double for talking about album sales. Armstrong becomes annoyed when asked if he's disappointed that Nimrod didn't sell as much as Green Day's previous two albums. 'What are you, a Billboard reader?' he sneers audibly. 'I don't give a fuck! I write my songs, dude. That's all I do. What do you want me to say?' Just be honest, I reply. Then comes the interview-ending question: Do you think your band is responsible for the punk rock revival in pop music? 'Oh, God,' he mutters. Click ... Hello? Hello? I think I got it now: Hanging up was just Billie's way of saying that he loves me. I wish it could've been in person - he might've spit on me."
Photos from Edmonton, AB
Send your own photos for this show to photos@greendayauthority.com
1. Hitchin' A Ride
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