Green Day released their first album in July of 1991. And now, after releasing ten studio albums over the past twenty years, Green Day has released their new live album and DVD, Awesome As F**k. This CD/DVD combo features 23 different songs and Green Day at their finest. The DVD, filmed in Tokyo, Japan, gives viewers a live punk rock experience that only Green Day can deliver. The CD, however, combines seventeen different songs recorded at sixteen different venues across the world during Green Day’s 2010 21st Century Breakdown summer tour. And, after spending almost three hours watching the DVD and listening to the album, I can say that it was time very well spent. Green Day’s new live album/DVD, Awesome As F**k, is an amazing album because there is a great variety of songs, the live performances on the DVD are exciting, and the heart-pumping live atmosphere gives the feeling of being at a Green Day show.
Any Green Day concert is an all-ages show. Fans can range from just four years old to over fifty years old; therefore, there is an equal range of brand new Green Day fans and long-time fans. Because of this wide range of listeners, Green Day has made sure to include songs all the way from their very first album to their most recent albums like American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. This is something that a long-time fan like myself really appreciates. Any die-hard fan knows that some of Green Day’s best songs are some of their oldest songs: “Going to Pasalacqua”, “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?”, “She”, and many, many more. Then, for the newer Green Day fans, there are newer songs: “American Idiot”, “Jesus of Suburbia”, and “21 Guns”. One song that is new to everyone, which is included on both the album and the DVD, is “Cigarettes and Valentines”, recorded in Phoenix, Arizona. Overall, with a great variety of Green Day songs, both the album and the DVD are things that any fan will enjoy.
The live DVD features an hour and a half of pure, uncensored Green Day. Led by singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bass player Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool, Green Day delivers a heart-stopping live performance matched by no other. A large part of these performances is the crowd involvement. The crowd is constantly being riled up by Billie Joe’s “heeeyyy ooohhh’s” during almost every song to make the audience feel like they are as much a part of the show as Green Day is. During “Know Your Enemy” and “East Jesus Nowhere”, Billie even decides to pull people on stage so they can stage dive. His constant interaction with the audience makes for one of the best live performances in the music world. Of course, the extended guitar solos, sound of explosions, sparks and flames, and the images projected in the background also intensify the atmosphere. Although this DVD does not have the impressive camera work or backstage video like Green Day’s 2005 concert movie Bullet in a Bible, it does provide a non-stop Green Day experience that cannot be beat.
While the CD does not provide the live visuals of a Green Day show, it still provides the live atmosphere and the feeling of being at a Green Day show. It also brings back old memories for those who were lucky enough to attend one of the shows featured on the album. I know this feeling because I was one of those who attended their show in Phoenix, Arizona. The CD also features raw, uncensored Green Day and some of their best performances of the tour. The roar of the crowd and the sound of Billie’s voice over the speakers are enough to make someone feel as if they are actually in the middle of an explosive Green Day concert. One feature that adds to this feeling is the way that all of the songs melt together as if they are all from the same show. This was by far the thing that stuck out the most and made this live album truly unique. From the three-chord riffs of Dookie and Insomniac to the ten minute songs of American Idiot, this album encompasses everything that a Green Day fan lives for.
If someone is looking for a complete Green Day experience without having to wait for them to go on tour, Awesome As F**k is the closest thing there is. It encompasses the true meaning of a live punk rock performance. It is not auto-tuned, and it is not censored. It is pure, one hundred percent Green Day at their best. If there is ever a free three hours of nothing to do, listening to this album and watching the DVD would be three hours well spent.