Sunday, September 25, 2005

Green Day

Show: Green Day at SBC Park
Headliner: Green Day
Openers: Jimmy Eat World, Flogging Molly
Location: SBC Park in San Francisco, CA
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2005

Arena Rock. What can be said that hasn't already? This was my first experience (that I can think of) at so large a concert. I think some 40,000. Expensive tickets, cavernous dimensions, and a crowd that's only partially into the music. But the show will be well organized...

Anyway, we arrived at the show during Flogging Molly's set. I'm not sure of it, but I could swear that they played the Warped Tour when I went to that. I don't really feel like looking up when I went and whether they were there or not though, so... Anyway, the point is that I was never much into them when I was into the ska/punk scene, and they did nothing to change that. Ok stuff, but nothing to write home about. They might have been fun to mosh to, but we didn't get there early enough for that.

Next up was Jimmy Eat World. An emo band that ought to have been a one hit wonder, despite their many year of existence. They're ok, but it's kinda hard to take the "we hate Bush" message from a band that changed an album title from "Bleed American" to "Jimmy Eat World" because of Sept. 11. What, because of 9-11, you can't have "Bleed American" as an album title anymore? They put on an ok set, talking little and playing all their well known songs. Probably a thrill for the multitude of 13 year olds at the show. Looked around for a mosh pit, but as near as I could tell there wasn't one.

Finally Green Day. They came on at 8:45pm and played a solid 2 hour set (includes encore, more on that later). Started off with a bunch of songs off their new album, which aren't really my thing. And Billie Joe really likes to roar during the "down periods" of a song. Very Howard Dean esque. My annoyance at the song selection was mitigated by a decent bit of pyrotechnics and Billie Joe on stage antics.

After the new bits, they finally got on their way playing stuff from their Dookie+ era (the plus is to indicate a few song from later albums). Fun stuff, and a lot of jumping around, which to me is what a show like this is all about. I looked around for a mosh pit, but once again there wasn't one to be found. I couldn't look around too much though, as my friends didn't want to get too thick into the crowd, so we were FAR from the stage. Quite a difference from recent shows for me.

During the middle of their good stuff, they had one gimmicky deal. They picked three kids from the audience and had them play some simple stuff on the Green Day instruments while the rest of the band did some antics. Fun to see, and one of the kids got to walk away with the guitar.

Towards the end, they started going more towards their newer stuff again, which was disappointing. Especially since they started hitting their "I'm an emotional human being" stuff. Not that "Good Riddance" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" aren't okay songs, but that those aren't the songs I came to see. To end it on "Good Riddance" was a bit of a sour note for me. The show was definitely well put together, and was clearly the work of professionals. I just thought it needed to be more "Dookie" and less "American Idiot." Is it really free thought when a rock star is telling me to distrust the president?

They do get point for doing a cover of "We are the champions" though. Billie Joe is no Freddy Mercury though.

And now for my rant on the "encore." When Green Day first left the stage, I checked my clock. 10:30p. The lights go down and one of their light set ups starts flashing the words "Green" and "Day" in succession. Obvious chant occurs. Green Day is back on stage and playing again. I check my clock once again. 10:30p. Encores are meaningless. Egads.

Anyway. On okay show. A bit too expensive for the product, but I don't feel overly cheated. And I had a good time.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bloc Party

Show: Bloc Party at the Warfield
Headliner: Bloc Party
Openers: The Kills
Location: The Warfield Theater in San Francisco, CA
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2005

Arrived to this show kinda late, due to a particularly heavy workload at the moment. The Kills had already begun to play. As it turned out, the song they were playing as we walked in was the only one I recognized of theirs. They are duo consisting of a girl on vocals an a guy on guitar. Everything else is done with a drum machine.

They put on an okay set, if not inspiring. The girl liked to move around the stage a lot, which is good since they don't have much else happening on stage. Not a band to be avoided, but neither are they to be sought out.

Bloc Party came out pretty promptly at 10pm. They played a very solid enjoyable set. Which is more or less to be expected, since they have a single solid if not world smashing album out. Their initial set went for 50 minutes, filed by the "canned" 15 minutes encore. They did play one real encore, which was actually quite rocking. I thought it was the best part of their show, and quite enjoyed it.

The crowd pretty much sucked though. A lot more smoking than is usual, both tobacco and marijuana (and I'm used to quite a bit of marijuana smoke from bay area shows). Some jerk splashing water all over at random times. People trying to push through to the front at random sporadic intervals. In the end though, these were all minor issues that didn't hurt the show too to much. A good time, and certainly your money's worth.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Show: EUSIPCO 2005 Welcome Reception
Headliner: Belly Dancers
Opener: Turkish Cover Band
Location: National Golf Club, Serik, Antalya, Turkey
Date: September 6, 2005

I started this blog to keep track of the live music performances I see, and I feel it's only appropriate to include everything.

For starters, EUSIPCO is the European Signal Processing Conference. I attended on business. As their "fun" event, they had a reception at the club house of a golf course nearby the conference center.

During the event they had two live performers. 1) A s---ty cover band mixing half Turkish and half American/English songs. The Turkish covers were ok, but I think that was because I didn't know the songs. The English songs were unacceptable. Putting speed to jazz songs meant to be sultry, and putting reggaee elements to a cover of the Beatles' "Let It Be" spells instant doom to me.

The main act was a foursome of "belly dancers." To be fair though, only one had actual belly dancing abilities and she wasn't very good. It's said that I've seen better belly dancers in San Francisco. Anyway, what does that make this group? Four attractive young women gyrating to music in skimmpy clothing. Sounds like a winner to me.