Early-to-mid May they announced a mini tour – in clubs. Clubs that hold maybe 400-500 people. In comparison, the last time I saw Green Day in concert was in a venue that held more than 20,000 people. Of course, there were no dates scheduled near me. However, there was one date scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. But it was in Phoenix, AZ. I live in Florida. I don’t know how, but I managed to talk my hubby into letting us spend the money so that I could go. I’ve never done something so impulsive, frivolous or irrational in my life, but I’m oh-so glad I did. I met up with some people from the Green Day Authority forums, some people that I never knew before that weekend, but I now consider friends. I only stayed for 1 day, but we all clicked so easily. I guess when you’re stuck in line for hours on end, you get to know people.
I arrived in Phoenix about 1:30pm and was anxious as I stepped off the plane. This was a buy your ticket at the door (availability limited due to venue size, of course) type of thing. I knew that people had been lining up since 9am and I was nervous that I had just flown across the country without guarantee of entry. I tried to rush through checking in at my hotel, but there were key issues. Once we finally got the key issue fixed, I mad-dash changed my clothes, brushed my hair and tried to make myself look like I hadn’t been sitting on a plane for the last 6 hours.
By this time it's about 2:30 and I am in panic mode about getting a spot in line, even though the wonderful friends I mentioned above had already said I was ok to join their group. I get to the elevator and there's another gentleman there already. I'm on the 18th floor, we get down to about the 15th floor and the door opens and in walks Tre Cool. My heart skipped more than a few beats and I think my eyes almost fell out of their sockets. Managed to keep my mouth shut and not drool, we get down to about the 3rd-4th floor and finally my brain kicks in that if I don't say something RIGHT NOW, I'm not going to get this chance again, so I stammered out "ummm, before I have a heart attack, can I please get an autograph or a picture?" He kind of half chuckled and said "sure, just don't have a heart attack." We're at the lobby level by now, so as we walk out of the elevator, I ask the other gentleman to take our picture and after the picture, Tre gives me a little hug and says "man, you're shaking!" I think that I was soo nervous because he was “off the clock” so to speak, he could have said no or ignored me or been rude. But he wasn’t rude and he didn’t say no.
We sat/stood in line until 7pm when we were allowed in the venue. Once inside we waited for another hour-hour and a half for the opening band. Girls with Guns. They sucked. Granted they had sound issues, and maybe without the vocals they would have sounded better. But, let’s just say that I wasn’t a fan.
Once the main act came out on stage, the already packed crowd rushed the stage. Billie Joe kept telling everyone to “come closer to me!” and boy did they try. I managed to keep my spot, got the bruises to prove it too. The show was phenomenal, soo intense and the band was very interactive with the crowd. Billie Joe did not play guitar at all, they had a guest guitarist for that and he was soo cute, really seemed to be having a blast up on stage with them. Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt both crowd surfed, Billie more than a few times. Billie Joe also kept leaning over into the crowd, right by where I was, and we were all just reaching up touching him – his hair, face, arms and I know a few girls who got a bit more *ahem* personal. There were people from the crowd up on stage for just about every song and the guys seemed to welcome them. At one point, I believe, Billie Joe was asking for more people to get up there.
After the show, our group kind of hung around talking, waiting to see if any of the guys would come out. I saw Jason Freese (touring sax/flute/keyboard/etc player) and Jason White (touring guitarist), but didn’t get a chance to talk to either of them. I then saw Mike Dirnt and went over to where he was. I got a hug from him and after a few different people asked, he autographed stuff for people. I had bought a vinyl of the Mother Mary single, so I asked him to sign that. After that, we tried to hang around to see if Billie Joe would come out but security was practically pushing us out the door.
Last minute airfare to Phoenix: $400
Misc. Incidentals: $200
Getting up close and personal with my favorite band: PRICELESS
I'm soo glad I went.
They were very strict about the “no photos” rule, so I wasn’t able to get any pictures of the show itself. It was soo crazy packed, I wouldn’t have been able to even if I wanted though. The only decent picture that I have from that weekend was of our group waiting in line, so I’ll share that with you:
All the way from Ireland (!!!), Oklahoma, Florida, NYC, Washington (state, not DC), Missouri (??), New Mexico (x2), and Minnesota!