Photo by the30ish.com
By Leah Scalzadonna
SAYREVILLE, NJ-Green Day played for more than two hours at a sold-out concert to promote the band’s upcoming album, “Revolution Radio,” on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, N.J.
It was the band’s first New Jersey concert since 2005, according to fan website Green Day Authority. Unlike their prior tours, the California trio is playing small clubs, like Starland Ballroom, with an extremely limited capacity.
“Starland Ballroom provides an incredibly intimate setting for fans,” AEG Live senior talent buyer Adam Weiser, 39, said. “Given the 180 feel of the venue, you get in closer proximity to the artist than most other 2,000 capacity ballrooms.”
As the AEG Live senior talent buyer, Weiser is in charge of booking bands for the venue, as well as a few others in New Jersey and New York. He works closely with ticket sellers like AEG Live and LiveNation, and meets with bands when they arrive for the show.
Before the band hit the stage, the crows was pumped up by classic rock anthems “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Blitzkrieg Bop,” while a performer dressed as a bunny danced around the stage. Vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool appeared before the crowd amidst raucous cheers and applause.
“New Jersey, do you want a revolution?” Armstrong asked the audience. “It starts right now.”
The band, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, played a lengthy set, premiering new songs, like “Revolution Radio” and “Bang Bang,” and performing past hits, including “American Idiot,” “Welcome to Paradise” and “Basket Case.”
“Club plays offer the ability to play new songs and gauge audience response,”Weiser said. “It’s always important to have that close connection with fans.”
Armstrong strutted across the stage sporting his signature black eyeliner, selecting fans of all ages to join him onstage for songs “Know Your Enemy” and “Longview.” The venue, which holds 2,500 guests maximum, was packed to the brims with fans sporting homemade t-shirts and outfits reminiscent of those Armstrong wore in earlier years. However, not every fan was happy with the limited space.
“It’s like people can’t even enjoy concerts anymore,” concertgoer Beth Harrison, 30, said. “I was pushed by tons of people and had to watch the show through three different phones.”
For fans that either didn’t enjoy or couldn’t attend the intimate show, the band promised that they’ll quickly return to the East Coast.
“We’ll be coming back real soon,” Armstrong said. “I will never, ever mess with Jersey.”