Green Day at The Uptown Nightclub, 4/15/2009

by Gordon Elgart on April 16, 2009

I hadn’t planned to attend tonight’s Green Day show at the Uptown in Oakland.  I knew it was happening, but I wasn’t going to get there early enough to get in line, skip Franz Ferdinand, and spend another late night with Green Day.  I wanted to, but I was just going to do something different.

Then a funny thing happened.I walked by the Uptown at around 3:45 and there were only about 40 people in line.  So I got in line and started thinking about whether or not I should stay or not.  I called some people and told them to come by, and the next thing I knew, I was going to Green Day at the Uptown, thus proving I’m insane.

This was my third Green Day show in just over a week, so everything needs to be taken in that context.  The Independent show happened so fast, I barely had time to get excited for it.  The night at the Fox in Oakland was a big bombastic stage show, and the crowd energy was fairly low.  But last night at the Uptown, it was crowded and hot and sweaty and a little dangerous.  Although it was the most sloppy of all the shows, and there were a fair amount of technical challenges, it was truly great to be there.

I didn’t take down a setlist because my Blackberry was dead, and anyway, I was being pushed and shoved consistently for more than 2 hours.  They played the entire new album and then a second “set.”  Like the other shows, they played American Idiot, Jesus of Suburbia, King For a Day and Minority.  Here’s some brief highlights:

  • During Novacaine, Billy Joe was having horrible feedback issues.  Each time he did, he spiked his microphone on the ground.  It was like a little tantrum, and it was entertaining to watch.  After the song, he asked us if the feedback was too bad, and I think the consensus was “my ears are ringing too much for feedback.”
  • At one point, the band started taking requests.  Someone asked them to play 86.  Billy Joe started teaching it to Jason White, who has been the 4th guy in the band for the last ten years.  Then he fiddled with it a little bit more, finally realizing he couldn’t play it.  People started jeering, and he said “you try writing more songs than John Lennon!”  This brought more jeers, and he said “I didn’t say they were all good.”
  • Billy Joe had to stop Minority in the middle to tell some guy in the front of the crowd not to feel up women when they crowd surf.  He looked really pissed about this.  Minority ended up being the last song, and I blame that guy.  There clearly could have been more songs!

It’s nice to know that my Green Week is over.  Three Green Day shows in eight days is really tiring.  One can only pogo into the early morning hours so much before they need to take a night off.  If Green Day were playing a surprise house party tonight, and I were invited, I’d probably skip it.

Or would I?

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimmy April 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Last night’s show was awesome! I went to the Fox Theatre Show w/ my husband on the 14th…and couldn’t believe they had a show the next night. Unfortunately my husband couldn’t come. He was gracious enough to watch out 2 year old just so I can go to this concert. I got in line at 7:45 pm (not as early as you)…and wasn’t sure I’d get in. But they got all of us in!

Hightlights for me was when he danced on stage w/ Cat…a groupie I met at the Foxboro Hot Tubs show at The Stork Club. ( I got in that line about 4 AM w/ my husband last May). It was awesome to know that Billie Joe recognizes his fans, since he said he saw her at all the secret shots in the last two weeks!

Other highlight was when Billie Joe started talking smack. Saying he was getting sick of this relationship, this codependent relationship. Green Day is my elixor! I wished I saw them play as The Network…. Thank you for posting your review on the UpTown show!


Gordon April 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Green Day as The Network is the loudest band I have ever heard in my entire life.

Glad to hear you got in, even arriving at the last minute. At least I had fun in line!


Kimmy April 16, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Thanks Gordon for writing this review. I’ve been searching all morning for reviews on the show. I think the peeps waiting in line did have fun. I saw pillows and lots of food and bottles near the trash bins and along side of the building.

So far all most of the Green Day fans I’ve met have been hella nice and in the spirit.


Frank April 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for writing, especially with the quotes, as I went to FF (and didn’t get there early enough anyway).

Just curiously, does this set list seem about right?



Gordon April 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Yes, that looks just about right. A couple of notes, though.

The Surrender cover was the Midwest medley (also heard by me in 2005 at the Warfield) that also includes Bastards of Young by The Replcements. I don’t know the Buzzcocks enough to know what that cover was.


Ben April 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm

I wonder if that John Lennon crack is true?


Kimmy April 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm

I bet it is! Billie Joe listened to The Beatles and I feel that many of his songs are Beatlesque. But then again, it’s strange that I’d want to believe almost anything he says.


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