The 13 Best Concerts of 2016 – VULTURE

By Dee Lockett

2. Green Day, Webster Hall (October 8)
Seeing Green Day at the Webster Hall (capacity: 1500) isn’t just a show; it’s like seeing Green Day perform at your high school prom. Stadium-level bands playing small, inexpensive venues just doesn’t happen. (Green Day generally only do when they’re performing as their side band Foxboro Hot Tubs, or for a damn good cause.) But before embarking on a stadium tour next year, the band played a handful of low-key shows to promote their new album. It’ll almost certainly go down as the closest many will ever get to them in person; it’s the best I’ve come to catching the remnants of Mike Dirnt’s sweat flung from all his bass-slapping. You have to remember: Green Day were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year. They haven’t had to pay their dues in a venue like this for some time.

Yet, here they were — face-to-face with lifelong fans, on a victory lap. They played just three songs from that new album, instead focusing on their history. The band dusted off songs from as far back as 1991’s 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and Kerplunk, pulled out deep cuts old and newer (“Stuart and the Ave”! “Letterbomb”!), revisited classic crowd-pleaser covers (“Shout,” “Hey Jude,” “Satisfaction”), and never even played “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Billie Joe Armstrong described the night as an “underground show” and nothing could tarnish that familial feeling Green Day are still fighting hard to preserve. 

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