How’s it going? I’m Martin—which will become your name at 17—and I’m here to talk to you about Green Day, the band you’re going to see on Sept. 10, 1994, three days before your 14th birthday.
You got your mom’s credit card and ordered the tickets, right? They’re only $5, and Blossom Music Center is going to be totally packed with other kids who saw the band’s muddy set at Woodstock ’94 and want to re-create the scene in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. There will not be rain, so they’ll just rip up the grass on the lawn behind the pavilion where you’ll be sitting in the 12th row. You’ll buy the band’s T-shirt, which you’ll wear to class in blatant defiance of stated Tallmadge Middle School policy. Confronted by your English teacher, you’ll say Green Day is another term for Earth Day, and that the pile of dookie on the shirt is compost. She’ll back off because, ugh, you’re exactly the sort of smug little brat who’s not worth arguing with about a T-shirt. The burnouts wearing inside-out Metallica shirts will not be as impressed with your ability to flaunt the rules, but they have bigger problems coming—namely, Load.
This Green Day show will be your first real concert. You’re about to taste the pure ecstasy of an out-of-control rock-’n’-roll show. Billie Joe will encourage the lawn people to hop the barricade; many will do so. Your dad will explain that this is what marijuana smells like. You’ll turn around as the opener, Moist, plays “Silver” and see what looks like torrential rain, but it will be blades of grass thrown by rowdy fans. Because of this tearing up of the grounds, Green Day will not be invited back to the summer home of the Cleveland Symphony until 2002.
Yup, 2002. I know you’re not surprised to learn that Green Day is still playing giant venues nearly a decade after you first saw them. Your friends moved on to Limp Bizkit after Insomniac, but you’ll remain a true believer, the kid who bought Nimrod at Quonset Hut Records the week it came out—way before “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” saved the band’s career.
But even you will be a little surprised to see a Tony Award-winning Green Day musical in Oregon in 2013. Yes, on Sept. 20, 2004—10 years and 10 days after your first show—Green Day will release an epic masterpiece aimed at knocking the president of the United States out of office. It will fail at that goal, but a stage adaptation of the album will still be touring the country’s largest regional theaters a decade later. Metallica, meanwhile, will be the subject of a 3-D film about a roadie who dreams about getting mugged. And Limp Bizkit? Oh, man, you’re gonna love how that works out.
SEE IT: American Idiot is at Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 248-4335. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Friday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 pm and 6:30 pm Sunday, Nov. 12-17. $25-$75.