Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer‘s Hella Mega Tour, postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic, suffered another setback early in its run as one headliner had to step aside. Just as the tour arrived in New York City, Fall Out Boy announced that they would miss that show, as well as the Boston and D.C. shows (they have since rejoined the tour), due to a COVID infection within their bubble. Outside NYC’s Citi Field, speakers announced that Fall Out Boy was not playing and anyone who scanned their ticket wouldn’t be eligible for a refund. Fortunately, the bands kept separate from one another, so the tour was able to continue.
Yet the lack of Fall Out Boy’s presence didn’t deter thousands of people from packing into the stadium for a rowdy evening with the Interrupters, Weezer, and Green Day. (Well that is if they weren’t too inebriated even before the show; a number of inebriated fans wept when they weren’t permitted to enter.) Fall Out Boy’s exclusion didn’t prevent the night from feeling like an escape from the pandemic for a few hours. The crowd roared when Billie Joe Armstrong shouted, “We’re still alive, New York!” in the middle of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”.
Weezer came out to a stage of excess amps, a riser of bass drums that spelled out Weezer, and tall backing lightning bolts around their logo. Frontman Rivers Cuomo appeared to make the most of the pandemic lockdown as he clearly let his hair grow out. He was sporting a mullet, a bushy mustache, a V-guitar, and a leather jacket fit with the ’80s Van Weezer theme. (Van Halen’s “Jump” was Weezer’s intro song). The group performed a set filled with a mix of popular tunes (“Beverly Hills”), critic favorites (“Undone”), and covers, including their mighty take on Toto’s “Africa” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down” as a tribute to Fall Out Boy.
Green Day’s powerful show draws from a tight setlist of fan-favorites that leaves little room for rarities (“Pollyanna” would be considered the deepest cut on this tour). Other than “Still Breathing”, no songs from the group’s five releases since 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown made the cut. This heavy leaning on favorites makes Green Day’s stadium shows rote but not dull. Though the band dropped the mid-set “Shout” medley, there is still the same pre-show ritual of playback of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for everyone to sing-along with and the appearance and antics of the pink bunny mascot (maybe Green Day’s Father of All… puking unicorn mascot would be too much?) to amp up the crowd.
That hasn’t stopped thousands of people, including me, from seeing Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool perform an explosive set and ham it up (a lot). They encouraged the audience to jump up and down during “Know Your Enemy” and we enthusiastically complied. There were pyrotechnics during “Hitchin’ a Ride”, phone lights shone through the crowd during “21 Guns” and fireworks exploded mid-set.
Oh yeah. Green Day knows how to put on a super fun show. The band once again extended an invitation for a fan (who “knows how to play three chords”) to join Green Day as they covered Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge”. The lucky person who’s chosen usually ends up stage-diving and taking home a guitar.
While the Hella Mega Tour didn’t give New Yorkers its original vision, Green Day serves as an awesome headliner, no matter that their set is so well known.
‘Hella Mega’ Tour 2021:
Aug 13, 2021 Hersheypark Stadium Hershey, PA
Aug 15, 2021 Wrigley Field Chicago, IL
Aug 17, 2021 Historic Crew Stadium Columbus, OH
Aug 19, 2021 PNC Park Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 20, 2021 Citizens Bank Park Philadelphia, PA
Aug 23, 2021 Target Field Minneapolis, MN
Aug 25, 2021 DICK’S Sporting Goods Park Commerce City, CO
Aug 27, 2021 Oracle Park San Francisco, CA
Aug 29, 2021 Petco Park San Diego, CA
Sep 1, 2021 Summerfest Milwaukee, WI
Sep 3, 2021 Dodger Stadium Los Angeles, CA
Sep 6, 2021 T-Mobile Park Seattle, WA