Weekend Concert Series- Green Day, Chicago, 1994

Filmed at the Aragon Ballroom in November and shown on MTV on December 21, 1994, this concert was Green Day in its first wave of mainstream commercial success. Their album “Dookie” had made a huge splash that year, selling millions, and making Green Day a big name act.

The band was started in 1987 by childhood pals Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt with the name Sweet Children. Their first gig was at Billie Joe’s mother’s workplace that year. They were 15 years old. They gained a small record company contract in 1989 and changed their name to Green Day in honor of their love of marijuana. Tre Cool joined as their regular drummer in 1990 and Green Day’s primary line up has stayed the same since.

“Since 1991, members of the band have branched out past Green Day and have started other projects with other musicians. Notable related projects of Green Day include Billie Joe Armstrong’s Pinhead Gunpowder (which also features Green Day’s guitarist Jason White), The Frustrators in which Mike Dirnt plays bass, and The Network, a collaboration between Green Day and members of the band, Devo in which all members play under fake stage names. Green Day has also released an album titled Stop Drop and Roll!!! on May 20, 2008, under the name Foxboro Hot Tubs, they currently use this name to book secret shows. In late December 2011, Armstrong formed a new side band called The Boo along his wife Adrienne (sic) and their two sons.”(Wiki)
In 1997 Jason White began playing guitar and singing backup on tour and in sessions, and in 2012 White was made a full band member, changing the make up from a trio to a permanent quartet.

Armstrong claims The Replacements, Husker Du?, The Who and Cheap Trick as influences on the band’s sound. I can hear those sounds in the Green Day mix. Touted as being punk rock, I’d call it more a pop-punk hybrid. Just because songs are three-chord and 4/4, that doesn’t make them punk. The Beatles wrote many three-chord, 4/4 songs, for example. While The Replacements and The Who are certainly punky, Cheap Trick and Husker Du? are not. There is certainly punk influence in Green Day but I would never call them a punk band.

The years following this concert saw Green Day’s biggest successes. 2004’s “American Idiot” album shot them to #1 and gained them 7 industry awards. In 2009, Green Day saw the rock opera produced on Broadway. The musical has been nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Scenic Design. It was also nominated for several Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards and now it’s in movie production. A documentary about Armstrong’s experience from pop-punk player to Broadway producer was made, called “Broadway Idiot”, that debuted at South By Southwest this year. Their album sales have been estimated at 75 million worldwide. Now in its 26th year (hard to believe), the band shows no signs of wear and tear.

Come shake your head for 45 minutes with Green Day.


Enjoy – annikee

Comments | 2

  • fun show

    I liked this one, especially the jumping around, posing, and making faces. The audience as a giant mosh pit was a nice touch. A bit more energy than Mumford. : )

    Didn’t know I knew so many Green Day tunes. I hear the influences you mention, too. I might add a touch of Elvis Costello, and maybe a pinch of Billy Idol.

    I recall the first time i heard of them. They were playing an Earth Day concert and I heard them mentioned as a headliner. With a name like Green day on Earth Day, I assumed that they were some environmental earthy folk band and skipped going to the free show. Mistake…

    • A Touch Ubiquitous

      I didn’t realize I knew so many Green Day songs either. They were pretty productive in the years I wasn’t really paying attention.

      Since next week is metal, I thought we’d ease toward it after M&S. Even I can’t go right from folk to thrash. 🙂

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