It was Sunday night in San Diego. The sun was out in full effect as the show openers, The Interrupters got set to take the stage for the much-awaited HELLA MEGA TOUR with Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer. The show was previously postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The L.A. Ska band came out ready to go as they belted out their hit, ‘A Friend Like Me’ from their 2014 self-titled album to thunderous applause.
Lead vocalist Aimee Allen kept the crowd on their feet with her amazingly raspy voice and extremely high energy. She definitely took control of the stage. An unexpected treat was their cover of Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy,’ and let me tell you, it was awesome! The tempo and classic ska horns took this track to another level completely! They finished their set to ‘She’s Kerosene,’ to off their 2018 album, Fight the Good Fight, with tons of new fans screaming their heads off in appreciation!
Next up was Weezer coming out to Van Halen’s ‘Jump.’ (because WHY NOT?!) They opened up with ‘Hero’ and Mr. Rivers Cuomo paid homage to 80s rock. Complete with his studded leather jacket, porn stache, turquoise blue painted nails, party mullet, and flying V guitar. They followed with ‘Hash Pipe’ and the crowd went nuts.
Weezer played a 17-song set with all the hits from ‘Beverly Hills’ off the 2005 album, Make Believe to ‘The Sweater Song’ from 1992’s Opposite Sides of the Same Good Ol’ Fence. Their incredible cover of Toto’s ‘Africa’ had the entire crowd losing it! The set ended with clouds of confetti and chants of “WEEZER! WEEZER! WEEZER!” being shouted as Weezer ended with ‘Buddy Holly’ from their 1994 self-titled album.
The early evening set in and the nighttime air cooled down. A little band out of Chicago by the name of Fall Out Boy took to the stage. The stadium went dark as the big screens popped on, with Ron Livingston from Office Space fame. He described the experience we were all about to have in a very Rod Serling/ Twilight Zone feel. F.O.B. lit up the stadium with pyrotechnics as they jumped into their first song. Befittingly titled ‘The Phoenix’ from 2013’s Save Rock and Roll. Suddenly, a stream of fire came from the now blonde Pete Wentz’s bass. The crowd at near full capacity took to their feet with arms raised as if to proclaim, “OH MY GOD!”
When the theme song from the classic TV show, The Munsters (or the song, ‘Uma Thurman’ for those of you not in the know) played, everyone freaked! Fall Out Boy jumped into ‘Dance, Dance,’ then “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me,”‘ a song that hasn’t been played live since 2016. The anthemic ‘Centuries’ made way for more pyro. As the band played both of their closing tracks, ‘Saturday’ and ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs,’ more confetti exploded over the energetic crowd.
Finally, the night drew to a close. Judging by the sea of shirts, one would assume that everyone was waiting for Green Day. They opened with a recording of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Blitzkrieg Bop,’ which got the crowd singing and holding up phones. Soon after, they were ready for a fist-pumping rendition of “American Idiot”.
Lead singer/guitarist Billie Armstrong, bassist Tré Cool, and drummer Mike Dirnt (with the same energy they had when they arrived on the scene back in 1987) melted faces with hits such as ‘Know Your Enemy,’ ‘Minority,’ and ‘Basket Case.’ Covers of ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ by KISS and ‘Knowledge’ by Operation Ivy were also fun crowd-pleasers.
As he’s done in past shows, Billie Joe went on the hunt for an audience member to come up and play with the band. The crowd was a little over 42,000 people strong, so this was no small feat. With the presence of someone that’s played a thousand shows, the young man took control and sauntered the catwalk. As he left the stage, they gifted him the very guitar he came on stage to play.
Green Day ended the night with everybody’s favorite, ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).’ The Hella Mega Tour definitely quenched the audiences’ thirst for good times, great memories, and amazing music. Everyone got their money’s worth with maybe a small sense of normalcy too. As the crowds did the slow after-show shuffle out of the stadium, you could feel the joy in the air.
Live music is back, ladies and gentlemen, and everyone is here for it!!
*Review written by Rudy Flores
*Photos by Sam Madnick
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