By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
The best song is “Extraordinary Girl,” whose great chord sequence and wide variety in guitar sounds comes off very ’60s, reminiscent of the Leaves’ version of “Hey Joe.” On this particular track, Green Day’s punk approach just makes sense, as if they’re aiming to shoot new energy into old forms. And the bittersweet “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” though glomming onto the band’s de rigueur thrashrock chorus, generally stays true to the song’s reflective spirit — its chimes and gentle acoustic guitars give a wistful (not wimpy!) feeling, and in a far better world it’d be an autumn-release chart-topper.
While Green Day’s physical prowess sounds far from peaking, the band’s trademark youthful sarcasm now feels a bit muted, as if growing up’s uncertainties make such easy slagging a lot more difficult. The key to why this set of songs had to turn out this way in September 2004 lies in American Idiot’s recurring themes of alienation and hope. And just as Green Day came to prominence at a time and place that made them perfect for their age group, today their peers’ awful but predictable alienation (and hope?) is the story behind Green Day themselves. I wish them good luck.
GREEN DAY | American Idiot | (Reprise)
Those reading this on Thursday, September 16, can catch Green Day performing American Idiot in its entirety tonight at the Henry Fonda Theater — if they can scam a ticket, that is. SOLD OUT!