Green Day Brings Out Wild Side

I don’t mean to complain, but now that I’m approaching
– ahem – middle age, there are several things I’ve distanced
myself from.
I don’t mean to complain, but now that I’m approaching – ahem – middle age, there are several things I’ve distanced myself from. Mosh pits, all night keg parties, frosted blue eye shadow. And I don’t even need to tell you that mini skirts of any kind are completely out of the question. In other words, I know my limits.

However, sometimes my inner teen-ager emerges and I just have to “go with it” as they say. Like, for instance, the other day when I went to a Green Day concert at the local bazillion-seat stadium.

Now for those of you even more out of it than I am, and who are thinking, “Green Day?‚ Isn’t that when you send your kid off to kindergarten dressed all in one color? Much like, say, Purple Day or Red Day?” Well, uh, no. Green Day is the name of a popular, award-winning band that’s a cross between pop, rock, and punk, or rather “ponk.” (A real musical genre that I just made up).

Now why, you ask, would someone like me, whose last live musical concert featured the beginning band at my son’s elementary school, go to something like this?

Truth be told, it’s partly because going to a stadium concert brings back memories of my wild (for those of you under 18 reading this, I mean “responsible”) teen-age years. And partly because that the band’s emotionally charged lyrics of pain, anger, acceptance, and angst speaks to my very soul. And partly because, hey, who can pass up a kid-free night out with beer? (For those of you under 21 reading this, I mean “soda”).

Plus, I got to ramp up my street credibility by saying things like, “Oh, in one more week I’m going to see GREEN DAY.” “Say, did you know I have tickets to GREEN DAY?: And, “Hey, only two more days until the GREEN DAY concert.”

When the concert finally arrived, I called my partner-in-crime, Lynette (by day an unassuming soccer mom and Cub Scout den leader) to discuss our strategy.

Me: I was thinking we should go early to tailgate in the parking lot with the other fans, then afterwards flash the security guard and run backstage and party all night with the band.

L: I was thinking we should go early and get a close parking spot, pack some extra blankets in case it gets cold, and leave before the last encore so we can beat the traffic and be home by 10:30.

Me: Hey, great idea!

Fast forward: When we got to the concert the first thing we did was to find our seats which were located in the special “Big Fat Cheapskate” section, located between the “Slackers Who Bought Their Tickets at the Last Minute” section and the lower stratosphere. But our bad seats were merely a minor setback. We did what any seasoned concertgoer would do: we bought some, er, “soda,” and then snuck off to a better section and sat in the empty seats as if we belonged there. (Which, really, is only a matter of semantics if you ask me).

But all this was worth it. Because when the band started playing, something magical happened: we felt young and wild and, dare I say it, slightly dangerous. By the end we had morphed into hardcore groupies ready to burn our PTA membership cards (I mean this metaphorically, of course) and live the rock and roll lifestyle.

Immature? Maybe. Unreasonable? Sure. Big huge fun? You betcha.

Oh, all right. So I’m not fooling anyone. We all know that a person with a shoe collection my size isn’t cut out for living on the road.

But really, going to a Green Day concert has taught me a few valuable life lessons. One, rock music still brings people of different generations together. Two, sometimes if you listen closely, songs that sound vulgar can really have deep philosophical or political meaning. And three, you’re never too old to stand on your chair and dance badly in front of strangers.

And, hey, if that’s not the true rock and roll spirit, I don’t know what is.

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