Green Day, Weezer & The Interrupters @ Citi Field (photos, review)
When Green Day, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy first announced the Hella Mega Tour, I rolled my eyes. Rock monsters for the pop punk generation? It just seemed like the latest in a long string of lengths Green Day and Weezer would go to disappoint their fans, whether it was Broadway shows, must-see Toto covers, or horribly bad late-career albums. Especially for Green Day, who played for years in the legendary 924 Gilman DIY Hall before he rose to fame and still enjoys performing in small venues, what do they have to do with a stadium tour. ? It just stinks of wanting to prove they’re the greatest band in the world they’ve had since american idiot.
And yet, as a 30-year-old punk fan and probably the target demographic for this tour, I gave in to my curiosity and found myself at Citi Field in Queens on Wednesday (8/4), ready to see a punk show in a venue usually reserved for pop megastars and classic rock bands.
The absence of Fall Out Boy, who had to drop this show (and Thursday’s Boston show) at the last minute, made this show a little less mega-mega, as one person on his team tested positive for COVID. If you attended this show for the nostalgia of the ’90s, it might not have seemed like a huge loss, as Fall Out Boy’s breakthrough only came about a decade after Green Day and Weezer, but they’re also probably the second most popular band on this tour, and presumably responsible for attracting a younger crowd, so I wondered if their last minute cancellation would mean noticeably lower attendance. But the Hella Mega tour persevered, and by the time Green Day took the stage, the New York Mets house looked pretty darn full. And Weezer and the opening act The Interrupters did the fans a favor by covering “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”, with The Interrupters doing about half of the entire song, and Rivers Cuomo playing the entire song. solo song during Weezer’s set.
As for the rest of The Interrupters set, they were the perfect band to open this kind of show. Their 2018 single “She’s Kerosene” (which closed their set) was the first truly popular ska-punk single in ages, and in general they date back to the punk era of the mid-90s when Green Day and Weezer exploded. One of their songs (“Broken World”) was co-written by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, and all of their albums are produced by old Green Day pal Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Operation Ivy. If you’ve listened to some new music a bit but come to this tour for the ’90s hits, you’ll likely find that The Interrupters tap into the sound of that era effortlessly and deliver potential hit after potential hit. Every song on their setlist was incredibly catchy – not just “She’s Kerosene”, their most recent hit “Gave You Everything” and their popular cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” – and The Interrupters really knew how to perform on a stadium crowd. . They seemed part of the game, they were incredibly tight, and they knew exactly how to get the crowd moving, even though most of the people in attendance weren’t familiar with their songs. At one point they joked that they are now a stage rock band and did a partial and ironic cover of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” to prove it, but jokes to part, The Interrupters really do know how to be a stage group. I wouldn’t be surprised if they left Citi Field with tons of new fans.
Weezer followed, and they really hunched over all the stadium rock stuff. Before taking the stage, they blew Van Halen’s “Jump” over the PA, nodding at the fact that they wrote their Van Halen-inspired album. Van Weezer in order to have some real stadium rock sounding songs in their arsenal for this tour. They also got it all visually, with the floating Weezer logo flanked by three gigantic lightning bolts, literally dozens of pastel-colored Marshall booths stacked at towering heights, and six (!) Bass drums just to spell “weezer” with a letter on each. Totally unnecessary! (But sort of charming.) If that wasn’t enough, Rivers Cuomo took the stage, donning a studded leather jacket, mullet, mustache, and a V-shaped Jackson guitar, as if he was dressing in 80s stage rocker for Halloween. Weezer always had that side to them (there’s an ode to Kiss on their first record), but that didn’t make it any less ridiculous.
As for the songs, it was a typical Weezer show. As usual, Weezer sounded really good when playing the classics (which included half of Blue album), but they littered their set with far too many misfires at the end of their careers. I don’t know how many Weezer fans spend a few hundred dollars per ticket hoping to hear “Feels Like Summer”, but for me, I would like to see Weezer put half as much effort into their setlist as he did. they do it in their stage props. Having said that, if Weezer has proven anything at this show, it’s that their “uncool” songs tend to do a lot better than their “cool” songs. Two of the night’s biggest fans were “Beverly Hills” and their cover of Toto’s “Africa”. That’s why I wrote to you Pinkerton the song they played (“El Scorcho”) went well; he got his biggest reaction when Rivers knowingly sang the line “I asked you to go to the Green Day concert” and then paused the song to let the crowd scream.
Obviously Weezer needs to play this song on this tour, just for that line, but here’s the thing about that line: it was really a Green Day concert. I don’t know if it would have been any different if Fall Out Boy had played, but it didn’t look like a stadium-sized package tour; it was like a Green Day tour with very strong support. From the moment Green Day took the stage (after their sound engineer got the audience to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Blitzkrieg Bop”), Citi Field erupted more than all night, and Green Day pulled together tens of thousands of people. in the palms of their hands. Green Day also brought in some stadium-sized flourishes – they used fireworks during the first song – but for the most part, Green Day commanded the massive crowd by simply being Green Day. Maybe I would have let my punk snobbery convince me that Green Day didn’t have to tour stadiums, but when I put that aside I thought: maybe that’s where Green Day belongs. They felt loose, comfortable and quite natural when playing to a crowd of around 40,000 people. As they walked through their set, looking urgent and inspired and genuinely fantastic the whole time, my initial cynicism was replaced by pride. Stage rock cannot be reserved for bands of the 60s and 70s forever; if anyone (other than the Foo Fighters) is going to step in, I’m glad Green Day is taking the plunge.
Unlike Weezer, who went too far on new songs, Green Day has only played one song released in the past decade and they luckily haven’t played anything from their terrible 2020 album. Father of all …, an album that I refuse to believe actually exists. It’s always disappointing to realize that a band you love is short on creativity, but being a good stage rock band makes the crowd happy from start to finish, and that’s what Green Day did. Even on the songs that matter less to me, I couldn’t deny that Green Day was running at full speed. Unlike Weezer, whose cover of “Africa” was one of their most popular moments, the classic rock cover of Green Day (Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite”) was the closest thing to their. set of a boring moment. They could have easily replaced it with another original and got the crowd even more excited.
What Green Day did so well was they made the stadium feel small. Apart from a few frills, they did not adapt their set to the larger room. They just put on the show that they’ve been doing for years, and that’s right makes sense. They mostly hung on to the hits, not really taking the time to make any deep cuts like they did on their intentionally small club tour in 2016, but it’s also pretty amazing that all these years later, they still cover Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge”. and always bring a lucky kid on stage to play the guitar during. When Op Ivy recorded this song in 1989, they had no chance to imagine that one day it would be played in stadiums. And to see Green Day do it with so much love is like a victory for the punk community as a whole.
I know it’s easy to roast Green Day at this point in their careers, and I’m sure I’ll be guilty of doing it again after that, but when I walked out of Citi Field on Wednesday, the feeling that got me the most left with was one of admiration. Green Day just knows how to put on a really good show. They deserve to be at the top of the stadiums. They deserve to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It’s easy to roll your eyes at some of the things they do, but when you see them perform they never fail to remind you that they are some of the best at it.
Videos, setlists and more photos below …
photos by Amanda Hatfield
The Switch Setlist (Going through)
A friend like me
By my side (start of the tour)
Take back the power
She was arrested
Bad Guy (Billie Eilish cover)
Sugar, We’re Goin Down (Fall Out Boy cover)
gave you everything
On a turntable
Broken World (start of the tour)
Family (start of the tour)
She is kerosene
Setlist Weezer (Going through)
The end of the game
My name is Jonas
Pork and beans
Looks like summer
All my favorite songs
Defeated – The song of the sweater
Surf Wax America
Sugar, We’re Goin Down (cover of Fall Out Boy) (Rivers Cuomo solo)
island in the sun
Africa (Toto cover)
California Snow (First verse and chorus)
Say it’s not
my holly mate
Green Day Setlist (Going through)
Know your enemy
boulevard of broken dreams
welcome to Paradise
Rock and Roll All Nite (KISS cover)
When I come
Knowledge (cover of Operation Ivy) (with fan on guitar)
wake me Up When September Ends
Good riddance (the time of your life)