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Green Day - Awesome As Fuck Album Cover

Green Day - Awesome As Fuck

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8.4
Green Day - Awesome As Fuck Live CD/DVD
Release Date: March 15, 2011
Record Label: Reprise Records
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
The following isn't really a normal review - more like a personal editorial mixed with a review. Don't worry, I definitely talk about the release, you might just have to sit through some jibber-jabber to get there.

To say that Green Day has polarized its fans in the last half decade or so would be a massive understatement. The three-piece pop punk legends from California were pioneers of the genre with Dookie way back in 1994. But I was 4 years old back then, so that's not really the Green Day that I've "grown up with." While I immensely enjoy the band's early work like most fans, the first time I heard Green Day when I was in middle school - probably circa age 13 or so - and the first song I heard was "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." Nimrod became one of the first CDs I purchased with my own money, and I only heard Dookie right before American Idiot launched the band to a level of stardom it had never seen before. But that sort of split the group's fan base - some loved the new record while others longed for the Green Day of yesteryear.

Right around that time in my formative years, when Green Day, Yellowcard and New Found Glory dominated my music listening, American Idiot was one of the best albums I had ever heard in this type of music. I still consider it to be a phenomenal record and one of my personal gateway albums into pop punk. However, I've always thought that if I had grown up with Green Day when they made Dookie and Warning and all those albums, I probably would have had a much different opinion of American Idiot when it came out. Maybe I would have been angry that my beloved pop-punkers had decided to throw away the masturbation-centric lyrics in favor of writing a rock 'n' roll opera with enough lyrical depth to spawn a novel or a screenplay, and with enough global appeal that they set off to take over the entire planet in the following two years.

Green Day did just that: they blossomed into one of the biggest band on Earth after American Idiot. That world tour saw the release of the Bullet In A Bible live CD/DVD, one of my personal favorite live releases of all time. It served partially as a documentary, featuring interviews with each band member as they detailed one of the biggest shows of their illustrious and lengthy career at the Milton-Keynes Bowl in England. Now, Green Day presents us with its second live release, the Awesome As Fuck CD/DVD filmed on a world tour supporting 2009's 21st Century Breakdown.

While 21st Century Breakdown didn't receive the same response or success as American Idiot did five years earlier, it was still fairly appealing to critics in fans. I personally don't hold that album on the same plane as its predecessor, but it still had very strong individual tracks and the concept of the record as a whole was very appealing. Similarly, Awesome As Fuck as an interesting release but doesn't hold up to Bullet In A Bible. The documentary portion is absent here, and playing to a crowd in Tokyo as opposed to an enormous mob at Milton-Keynes makes for a much different atmosphere on the DVD portion.

One important area where Awesome As Fuck impressed me is how it was filmed. The videography here is nothing short of brilliant, focusing not only the main three members of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool, but also paying deserved attention to live band members Jason White, Jason Freese and Jeff Matika. With the way the DVD is filmed, it's supremely focused on capturing the emotion of specific moments - when Armstrong pulls a kid up on stage from the crowd to help him sing, when he yells "I'M LOSING MY FUCKING MIND!" during "American Idiot" or when Tre Cool has a candid reaction to something going down on stage. With this style, fans get a much more in-depth and personal experience than on a normal live DVD. However, the quality of videography can only count for so much here, as no live DVD has that much replayability.

The most important aspect of a live release is the tracklisting, and in this case the CD tracklisting trumps the DVD one. The CD features songs taken from different shows across the entire world tour, and the middle of the album features golden material from Green Day's early years. We even get a solid sampling of pre-Dookie material - something that isn't just a cool nostalgic throwback, but is honestly invaluable to hear in a live setting. Even though I was lucky enough to see this tour first-hand in Miami, I didn't have the privilege of seeing "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?," "Going to Pasalacqua," "Burnout" or "Geek Stink Breath," all of which are present on the CD version. Throwing in the often-underrated "When I Come Around" and fan favorites "J.A.R." and "She" gives you a sequence from tracks 7 to 13 that makes this release worth the purchase by itseld. Of course, there is plenty of newer material, highlighted by performances of "Viva La Gloria" and "21 Guns."

The main problem with the CD is extremely inconsistent sound quality. While none of the quality is horrendously repulsive, it varies between clearly professional recording to seemingly amateur production. The DVD offers up a much more consistent sound, but since it's all taken from one concert in Japan, the set list isn't as impressive.

So, even though Awesome As Fuck has its pros and cons and isn't as good as Green Day's last live release, I'd say it's still worth the purchase. To put it simply, I think this mainly because the new live sound of the old tracks gives you something concrete to put in your music library. These songs aren't new by any means, but you're still getting something that you don't really own right now. The band's live set is a critically acclaimed one, and while I don't consider myself much of a live show critic, I can attest to that opinion by saying that their performance in Miami blew me away. Awesome As Fuck captures the intensity of a live Green Day show while giving you a nostalgic throwback into what made you fall in love with this band in the first place.

Recommended If You LikeGreen Day.....duh.
Follow Me On TwitterYou can know all my thoughts about a record before I write the review and then never have to read anything I write ever again.
Bare EssentialsCD
1. 21st Century Breakdown - (London, England)
2. Know Your Enemy - (Manchester, England)
3. East Jesus Nowhere - (Glasgow, Scotland)
4. Holiday - (Dublin, Ireland)
5. Gloria - (Dallas, Texas)
6. Cigarettes And Valentines - (Phoenix, Arizona)
7. Burnout - (Irvine, California)
8. Pasalaqua - (Chula Vista, California )
9. JAR - (Detroit, Michigan - August 23rd 2010)
10. Holden Caulfield - (New York, New York)
11. Geek Stink Breath - (Saitama-shi, Japan)
12. When I Come Around - (Berlin, Germany)
13. She - (Brisbane, Australia - December 8th 2009)
14. 21 Guns - (Mountain View, California)
15. American Idiot - (Montreal, QUE)
16. Wake Me Up - (Nickelsdorf, Austria)
17. Good Riddance - (Nickelsdorf, Austria)

DELUXE ALBUM BONUS TRACKS (ALL DIGITAL RETAILERS EXCEPT iTUNES)
1. Letterbomb - (Chula Vista, California)
2. Christie Road - (Hartford, Connecticut)

iTUNES BONUS TRACKS
1. Letterbomb - (Chula Vista, California)
2. Christie Road - (Hartford, Connecticut)
3. Paper Lanterns/2000 Light Years Away - (Alpharetta, Georgia) (iTunes Exclusive)

DVD
“21st Century Breakdown”
“Know Your Enemy”
“East Jesus Nowhere”
“Holiday”
“Static Age”
“Gloria”
“Blvd. Of Broken Dreams”
“Burnout”
“Geek Stink Breath”
“Welcome To Paradise”
“When I Come Around”
“She”
“21 Guns”
“American Eulogy”
“Jesus Of Suburbia”
“Good Riddance”

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Note: Ratings in the score section are for the DVD, rather than the CD. Production rates the recording quality, creativity rates the creativity of the show.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 69
12:27 AM on 03/24/11
#2
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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This was very fun to review. Hopefully I'll get to write some more reviews on live DVDs this year.

Edit: I really wish I got those iTunes bonus tracks haha. "Christie Road" is so great.
12:56 AM on 03/24/11
#3
PeeDster
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Not watched the DVD yet so I will comment on one thing near the top.

I think you nailed it when you said "However, I've always thought that if I had grown up with Green Day when they made Dookie and Waiting and all those albums, I probably would have had a much different opinion of American Idiot when it came out"

I grew up on Green Day, they were my first musical love when I was only 10 years old in 94. Adored everything they did. I really enjoyed American Idiot though...I thought they balanced the theatrical with the old roots type stuff really well...I was not the biggest fan of their new political inclinations but that was sort of a side thing, and as it was very topical at the time...I let it slide and rolled with it (I will not comment on their change in clothing/makeup...yech). I just lost them completely all in one massive go with 21st CB and that....was a shock to the system. I found it boring and gimmicky and I even felt that they were rehashing melodies off their older albums. Really hurt somehow because I felt that my first love had ditched me, haha.

Still love the band for nostalgias sake more then anything and I will always listen to new material they put out. They thoroughly deserve all their success...I Just think that my musical path took a very different turn to theirs in the last few years.

Good review, nicely done.
01:06 AM on 03/24/11
#4
jwicklun
Never forget.
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Still a great live band.
01:10 AM on 03/24/11
#5
gr33ndayfr3ak
www.nickferran.com
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Definitely the band that got me into good music (see: my username), and I really, really enjoy this release.
I have yet to watch the DVD, but the CD part far outshines BIAB, in my opinion.
01:21 AM on 03/24/11
#6
maxswellrevenge
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you mean "Warning:" right? they don't have an album called wanting.
01:37 AM on 03/24/11
#7
PaperLantern
New Valencia in 2010!
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The DVD performance of Viva La Gloria is awesome.
01:45 AM on 03/24/11
#8
Jat
Where you been?
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If I may ask, why didn't you talk about Cigarettes & Valentines?
01:58 AM on 03/24/11
#9
RehabDrugs
Vices
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Such a great album, and such a fucking epic tour <3
02:40 AM on 03/24/11
Paulb-182
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Dookie and Warning.* The albums called Warning.

But yeah, I have listened to Green Day since I was 10/11 when Minority and indeed Warning came out. My brother already owned all the previous albums and got into them as soon as I could. By the time American Idiot came out after the initial burst of 'YES! NEW GREENDAY!' I was feeling severely let down, and 21st Century Breakdown did even more damage. I still love seeing them live, but in comparison to the first time I saw them, there are just fewer and fewer songs I love that they play.
02:52 AM on 03/24/11
RockVocalPower
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I was actually extremely disappointed by the DVD video quality. Bullet In A Bible had such crisp, vibrant colors that this seemed like a fan's footage in relation.
03:07 AM on 03/24/11
OnaedInSpace
she sucked and sucked and sucked.
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Not watched the DVD yet so I will comment on one thing near the top.

I think you nailed it when you said "However, I've always thought that if I had grown up with Green Day when they made Dookie and Waiting and all those albums, I probably would have had a much different opinion of American Idiot when it came out"

I grew up on Green Day, they were my first musical love when I was only 10 years old in 94. Adored everything they did. I really enjoyed American Idiot though...I thought they balanced the theatrical with the old roots type stuff really well...I was not the biggest fan of their new political inclinations but that was sort of a side thing, and as it was very topical at the time...I let it slide and rolled with it (I will not comment on their change in clothing/makeup...yech). I just lost them completely all in one massive go with 21st CB and that....was a shock to the system. I found it boring and gimmicky and I even felt that they were rehashing melodies off their older albums. Really hurt somehow because I felt that my first love had ditched me, haha.

Still love the band for nostalgias sake more then anything and I will always listen to new material they put out. They thoroughly deserve all their success...I Just think that my musical path took a very different turn to theirs in the last few years.

Good review, nicely done.
To back up your point on the general lack of originality and the gimmicky nature of 21CB, this live album only holds 5 songs off that record and when you compare it to bullet in a bible and how AI centered that album was, it seems that green day know they failed in that further exploration of the AI sound. Out of those five songs I would include "Know Your Enemy" as an old style green day song.

The inclusion of "Cigarettes and Valentines" is a major bonus and gives me MAJOR hope for the next album. Hope the lost album gets a debut.

Also, its awesome how nostalgia laden all of these replies are.
03:30 AM on 03/24/11
whiterussian
awake my old dry bones.
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Not watched the DVD yet so I will comment on one thing near the top.

I think you nailed it when you said "However, I've always thought that if I had grown up with Green Day when they made Dookie and Waiting and all those albums, I probably would have had a much different opinion of American Idiot when it came out"

I grew up on Green Day, they were my first musical love when I was only 10 years old in 94. Adored everything they did. I really enjoyed American Idiot though...I thought they balanced the theatrical with the old roots type stuff really well...I was not the biggest fan of their new political inclinations but that was sort of a side thing, and as it was very topical at the time...I let it slide and rolled with it (I will not comment on their change in clothing/makeup...yech). I just lost them completely all in one massive go with 21st CB and that....was a shock to the system. I found it boring and gimmicky and I even felt that they were rehashing melodies off their older albums. Really hurt somehow because I felt that my first love had ditched me, haha.

Still love the band for nostalgias sake more then anything and I will always listen to new material they put out. They thoroughly deserve all their success...I Just think that my musical path took a very different turn to theirs in the last few years.

Good review, nicely done.
This is exactly how I feel, with the only real exception being that I grew up with my parents playing Dookie (I was 5/6 in 94) and Warning: being my first own CD. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.
03:54 AM on 03/24/11
t3hmilkman923
This is where you need to be.
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I've seen green day live 3 times, they are by far the best live band ever IMO
04:31 AM on 03/24/11
PeeDster
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This is exactly how I feel, with the only real exception being that I grew up with my parents playing Dookie (I was 5/6 in 94) and Warning: being my first own CD. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.
Your avatar is awesome, good album.

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