Green Day has always been a part of my life. I couldn't tell you exactly when or how they entered my life, but outside of a few close friends and family, their music has been the most consistent thing that exists in my life. They are the one band I always turn to when I need something. Their music has gotten me through good times and bad. It pushed me to achieve goals. It helped me win races. It pumped me up before big games. It gave me the escape I needed when things went wrong and at an early age I learned to use their music as my outlet when I had no other way to express myself.
It has been 14 years since my love for Green Day first started. I remember waking up every morning at 4am for a morning figure skating lesson before going off to school. I wasn't the only person doing this of course, but I was one of the youngest. At 10 I dreamed of nothing more than one day wanting to be an Olympic figure skater. I had my heart and dreams set on the 2006 and 2010 winter games. The only problem at the time what the fact that my coaches weren't happy with the fact that I was not like all the other girls out on the ice. I wasn't willing to just follow their every word, and I most certainly was not all about those figure skating dresses that everyone else on the ice was wearing. I was the "rebel" wearing shorts and a tank top and listen to Green Day in secret on my walk-man as I warmed up. But that was just the start to my problems. Two years later I was working on landing a double axle. Again my coaches and I weren't seeing eye to eye over my practice habits so I figured what better way to start off the morning than with a little Green Day. So like clock work, at 4:30am you would always find me standing at the juke box with a dollar in hand and punching in the code to play Longview. Probably not the ideal song to start the morning off with but man did it get me ready, and just as an added bonus... it totally pissed off my coaches. Well, it was with the Dookie album playing in the background when I finally stuck a clean landing. I had never been more excited than at that very moment. But many things have changed since then. I no longer figure skate and I haven't gone out of my way to purposely piss someone off in quite a while, but the sounds of Green Day have never left me.
By the time I started college I had a complete collection of Green Day CDs, posters that plastered every wall, my cd player in my car had a mix cd of their music that I could switch to whenever I was out on the road, and I was getting ready for my first concert. It took 3 hours to drive to New Hampshire for their show, and at the end of the night I was shaking I was so excited. Less than six months later I had bought tickets to another show but for a different venue, and this time I was general admission and determinded to get as close to the stage as possible.
For the entire show I was plastered against the barricade that lined the front of the stage. I was knocked around, stepped on, elbowed in the face, and drinched by the end of the show. And again, I loved every minute it. Hearing Billie Joe, Mike and Tre perform live was like nothing I had ever experienced and I could not get enough of it, and to top it off they are hands down #1 performers. They give you an amazing experience and great music every single time. All I can say is that I wish money was not so tight otherwise I would be on the road following their tours from city to city. But what can I say, I grew up listening and loving their music.
I've been lucky enough to work in a place that allows me the opportunity to see them perform every once in a while. Working the VMAs last summer I stood around like a little kid in a candy shop, jumping up and down, as I got to sit in and listen to their rehearsal session. But it wasn't just a rehearsal, it turned into a mini-concert. These amazing musicians truly love what they do and it shows every time they step up on stage. I have found, through my own experiences and by watching others, that on a large scale that is quite rare. To be able to give as much as they do when they are in the spotlight is a completely different experience and it shows. But now, with American Idiot opening on Broadway they are taking the game to the next level.
American Idiot is a punk rock musical that is just as high energy and fun as an actual Green Day concert. The performers that make up the cast give you so much of themselves that it is obvious that they are enjoying what they are doing as actors and musicians, as Green Day does for their fans. It is odd to think that they cast is primarily made up of 20-somethings that are my age, and have grown up with their music, just like I have. But it was clear in tonight's performance when one of the actors ran up to the mic at the end of the show and yelled "Oh my god I we get to perform with Green Day." It was an amazing surprise to see the band come out at the end of the show, and give us their own encore. The mini-show, on top of the already rockin' musical made the night one to remember. And I, thanks to some amazing co-workers, sat in the 2nd row with less than an arms length distance between Billie Joe and myself. The show ended with a bang, and I couldn't have asked for anything better.
If you are in the NYC area, or have the ability to come out, I would recommend checking out this show. The cast is a group of amazing performer who add to the overall appeal of the story being told through one of the greatest rock bands around today. The play is amazing and I guarantee that you will be rockin' out in your seat throughout the entire play. It is a one act play that will have you singing in the streets and wanting to go back for more.
For me, the journey continues. I will be hitting the road soon on a journey cross country. My plans before I leave NYC is to get a copy of the soundtrack so I will continue to have Green Day by my side when I need them most. The Broadway musical is just another thing to add to the reasons why I love Green Day. It has given me yet another visual story to the music that already fills my life.