On 9/1/05, I went to see Green Day at Giants Stadium and it was a great concert. This was my 3rd concert of ever, the first two being: NIN and The Rolling Stones. I attended those ages ago. I couldn’t help thinking that this concert was unbelievably distinctive on so many levels. Don’t hate me, but I really wasn’t a Green Day fan. I really only wanted to surprise Carlos because if I heard him sing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” one more time, I was going to go completely insane. But here’s what I loved, loved, loved about this concert: it was inclusive and chaotic and true to the punk tradition. Billy Joe rocked from beginning to end. He never lost momentum. The band’s message was a perfect mix of anti-war politics and bad-boy mischief. They played all of the songs that made them famous. There were fireworks, audience participation, and a general ‘good vibe’. Their version of “Shout” and “We Are the Champions” converted these two familiar tunes into something fresh, new and interesting. The finale of “Good Riddance: Time of Your Life” made me want to cry. Seriously, it was that good.
More Matter, Less “Art”: Which brings me about the latest topic I’ve been dying to rant about: Art. This weekend’s The New York Post reported the latest ‘artistic’ venture in lower Manhattan. Yes, apparently the craze of cheesy, no-talent, tasteless expression is still running rampant. So now it’s US bashing with standard everyday household materials doubling as works of art. The exhibit described has heaps of garbage, a Bible with a makeshift bomb in it, and a pipe bomb. True that art is intended to motivate and ignite commentary (enough to make Page 11, anyway). But is this particular exhibit really effective? Does seeing a Bible bomb really make a statement about politics or the world? Does it move people or revolt them into forgetting the intended message. This is an old argument. It’s almost as if artists’ wells have run dry of original ideas. No one knows what sort of buttons to push to get people riled. Television and information overload has made people more impervious to the shocking and surprising. But for artists who are starved for the next best thing, I suppose it is so much more interesting to paint in elephant dung or display tampons to instigate the masses. Ugh.