Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA
July 20, 2001
Other Acts:
The Living End
  • Brooke Mason: "It's all about the beer, waterguns and grown men in bumblebee suits. I'm talking about the Green Day concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl last Friday. From Berkley and Irvine to even New Jersey and Seattle, fans came to show their support for the band's first album in three years. Never will you see such a large assemblage of green haired peoples than at a Green Day concert. An hour before we could enter we were told that anyone who wore metal spiked jewelry or studded belts would not be allowed to enter. Green Day is a punk band. Punks wear spikes. Some of these punks also prefer baggy pants, which neccessitates a belt. Use your imagination. The show was opened by The Living End; a trio that is to Australia what Green Day is to America. Rumours were circulating through the crowd. We heard the voices of young children singing Old McDonald over the amplifiers. The crowd speculated that these were the children of the members of Green Day. Someone thought they saw Green Day's bassist Mike Dirnt backstage with his shirt off. And everyone was upset because only a few people had been allowed into the front section. Usually to enter the front section of the Bowl you have to be the very first to arrive, or you are selected privately to enter. 'It's the fucking bourgeoisie,' a man beside me said. 'If you see anarchy in the pit, I'm there.' It was coming, indeed. Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer and guitarist for Green Day, wouldn't have it. 'What is this? Don't you guys want to be up here? Well, come on! We need closeness here!' Closeness we got. And a lot of beer in the face. Where did I end up? Smooshed in the second to the front row. Thank God for Doc Martens. Green Day started the show with Nice Guys Finish Last. Billie welcomed Santa Barbara in a Scottish accent. They performed one song after another, all of the crowd singing along. The band could see we were working up a sweat, so they decided to cool us off. They shot us with a fluorescent watergun, splashed us with bottles of water, and sprayed us with more beer. I am led to believe that beer is best left in the belly. Billie Joe kept repeating, 'We're not done yet, Santa Barbara, goddamnit!' He was equally bemused by the few people who remained seated. 'You make Ozzy Osbourne proud. You make Chuck Berry proud...' he teased, flipping them all the bird. He worked the crowd superbly, asking them to sing 'Whoa-oh' and 'Alright' and to count to 4. 'It's so easy!' Billie Joe explained. When the crowd made the Bowl echo with their chants Billie smiled and said, 'You make Green Day fucking proud!' After a long string of songs like Welcome to Paradise, and Hitchin' A Ride, Billie Joe started taking requests. He was surprised by the many requests for songs from Green Day's first and reputably purest punk album, 39/Smooth. 'That was fifteen years ago.' he said, as the band members looked at each other and smiled. The production of the concert was not elaborate, but still impressive. There were at least four separate backdrops throughout the show. The costumes were fun; masks like you would expect, and grown men in bumblebee suits. Nothing is funnier than a grown man with white hairy legs dancing petitely in a bumblebee suit. This was a member of the small horn section! 'Are you feeling horny?' Billie asked the crowd, as he faked what Herbal Essence Shampoo would call 'an organic experience.' I could only imagine what the Santa Barbara residents who live along the hills surrounding the venue were thinking. The overall flow of the concert was intriguing. Punk songs are generally short by nature, but Green Day can extend them with the incredible basswork by Dirnt, and drumming by Tre Cool, who Billie Joe deemed, 'The Greatest Drummer In The World!' Green Day's set combined sprints of fast paced faves like Jaded with slow reflective tunes like Time Of Your Life. Green Day has had a tremendous influence on so many young musicians, from Blink 182 to even myself. Why? Green Day's style of playing has always been tight. With quick rythmns, catchy melodys, and lyrics that are sung from the gut, you want to play along! You listen to them and think, 'I want to have fun too!' Does Green Day understand that they have been such an incredible influence? The answer to that question, I believe, is yes. Billie Joe said to us, 'We need a band up here. Are there any musicians out here tonight?' So many of us raised our hands, hoping we could be the ones to be pulled on stage. The lucky three who were lifted on stage were equally adept at performing, impressing Green Day. They were all thrilled to be playing with their heroes, but for good reason. Beer! Yes, as he was playing, the guest drummer enjoyed a guzzle of beer served to him by Tre Cool. The guest bass player was smiling a mile wide as he was being instructed by Mike Dirnt. But neither of these young musicians was nearly as excited as 'Jonathan from Jersey.' Jonathan jumped on stage and gave billie Joe a big hug. Everyone in the crowd said, 'Ah!' and laughed. Billie Joe returned the favor to Jonathan with a big wet kiss on the lips. As the security guards directed this new band offstage Billie Joe said, 'Hey! Where do you think you're going? We're not done with you yet!' The three young men stood in a line as Tre Cool's drum roll grew. The crowd counted down for three separate swan dives into the sea of people known as the pit. As the 'new group' made their landings among the mass of flailing arms, Tre Cool's drum set gave a, 'Ba-dum-bump. Shing!' The grand finale was an explosive jam where Billie and Mike were aimed at their amplifiers, with their backs turned to the crowd, just ripping away at the feedback. All this while Tre Cool tore his drum set apart, going so far as to climb on top of the speakers with one of his drums to show the crowd the gaping hole on top before he threw it some more. As the band left the stage they waved goodbye with sincere smiles of joy. And so did we."
Photos from Santa Barbara, CA
Send your own photos for this show to
1. Maria
2. Longview
3. Welcome To Paradise
4. Hitchin' a Ride
5. Brain Stew
6. Jaded
7. Redundant (Tease)
8. J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)
9. Knowledge (Operation Ivy cover)
10. Basket Case
11. She
12. King for a Day
13. Shout (The Isley Brothers cover)
14. F.O.D.
15. Minority
16. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
17. Warning
18. Platypus (I Hate You)
19. When I Come Around
20. Macy's Day Parade
Previous Show2001Next Show
Did we miss something? Submit News.
January 2023
Happening this month:
Jan 01:
Happy New Year!
Jan 17:
Kerplunk was released 31 years ago.