September 1, 2021 | Festival Review by Fatima Kelley
San Diego received one helluva mega night of music on Sunday when Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer, and The Interrupters brought the long-awaited rescheduled Hella Mega Tour to Petco Park.
Confetti, fireworks, fireballs, and a massive sing-a-long that lasted well over five hours made this the definite show of the year.
The Interrupters opened the evening in full force, and while they might have played the shortest set of the night, they packed in quite a punch! From the moment they ran out on stage, they just never stopped, and they delivered each song beautifully with an addictive charisma and never-ending charm.
Without a single dull moment, they jumped, twirled, and engaged the crowd with each of the songs they played, proving themselves more than worthy of playing stadium shows. From the opening anthem of “A Friend Like Me,” to their reinvented cover of Billie Eilish’s massive hit “Bad Guy;” from “Take the Power” to the closing tune of “She’s Kerosene,” they won over everyone in the crowd.
Weezer took the stage next and we all know there is no party like a Weezer party. Rivers Cuomo appeared in front of their iconic aqua and pink lightning bolt set in full Van Weezer alter ego style, sporting an early ‘80s inspired mullet, mustache, and studded leather jacket. It reminded me of Wayne’s World, and it instantaneously brought a huge smile to my face. It fits the “Rock and Roll Nerd Gods” persona to the fullest, and it embodied the unapologetic silliness that makes Weezer so perfect.
Fans were given the perfect sing-a-long opportunities with their set list. With their well-balanced selection of new songs and classic gems, the crowd was able to fully engage with the band. Weezer opened with “Hero” from their latest release and 15th studio album, “Van Weezer.” Then they flew right into “Hash Pipe,” which got everyone singing – photographers included! –but luckily no one could hear my off-key screeches (or at least I hope not). “All the Good Ones” was also a well-received new song and it was followed by another classic, “Beverly Hills.” “El Scorcho” was an obvious “must have” considering its line about asking someone out to a Green Day show, which caused the audience to completely explode.
“Surf Wax America” was another favorite of the night as well as their cover of Toto’s “Africa.” Of course “Say It Ain’t So” and “Buddy Holly” were insane and they concluded their amazing evening.
Fall Out Boy took the stage next and they quite literally brought the heat. Fire, fire, and more fire accompanied their set from their opening tune “The Phoenix” and throughout the entire show. I think they brought enough pyro to make any ‘80s metal band jealous – and the crowd absolutely loved it. The flames shooting out of Pete Wentz’s bass were pretty amazing, and later on, Patrick Stump played a piano that was on fire, adding a touch of extra grandeur to this already Mega sized tour.
I had never seen Fall Out Boy before (though my kids have played their songs on repeat to the point I could easily sing along throughout their set), and after Sunday night, I definitely became a fan. Their studio recordings are great, but it is nothing like seeing them live. Wentz stated how incredible it was for them to be on stage with iconic bands Weezer and Green Day, but they certainly proved to be iconic themselves and definitely more than worthy of rock star status.
Favorite moments of mine were “Uma Thurman,” which brought the loudest singing response from the crowd for their set; “Save Rock and Roll,” during which fans lit up the night with their cell phones proving that sometimes it is ok to use your phone at a show; and of course “Saturday,” which concluded their set.
And then… it was Green Day’s turn. Following the classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” fan sing-a-long and the drunken pink bunny stumbling around on stage, Green Day took the stage, and the crowd erupted in cheers.
They opened their set with “American Idiot” and thus set the tone for a larger-than-life, well-choreographed show, of which Billie Joe Armstrong is the master puppeteer capable of moving their audience like no one else. Tre Cool’s drumming is Green Day’s backbone and it is like magic. It seems capable of controlling your heartbeat, and Mike Dirnt’s bass line takes over your feet, forcing you to groove to every single note.
“American Idiot” was followed by “Holiday” and “Know Your Enemy.” “Pollyanna” off their latest release followed and fans responded by loudly singing along. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” was next, but then “Longview” was taken over by fans shouting along in full force. The band covered Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” as their homage to stadium rock, which was pretty cool. They also covered Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge,” which again, was pretty amazing.
My favorite moment of the night came from them performing the song “Still Breathing” off their 12th studio album, “Revolution Radio.” This song took on an all-new meaning after dealing with COVID the past year and a half. It definitely felt liberating to sing these words:
I’m like a soldier coming home for the first time, I dodged a bullet, and I walked across a landmine, Oh, I’m still alive…..’Cause I’m still breathing, ‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own… My head’s above the rain and roses…
“Jesus of Suburbia” followed and they ended their set with “Good Riddance,” which concluded in fireworks and left the audience shouting for more until the lights went on .
There are certain bands that inadvertently end up narrating your life by having so many songs that express what you felt or have experienced at one point or another. Perhaps even by releasing albums that speak so iconically of the political/social reality that surrounds you. Green Day is one of those bands for me and I think most of the people in the audience felt the same way. The crowd responded to each song with full, wide-eyed sing-a-longs that kept the audience and band connected for the entire 21-song set.
The Interrupters : A Friend Like Me | Title Holder | Take Back the Power | She Got Arrested | Bad guy (Billie Eilish cover) | On a Turntable | She’s Kerosene.
Weezer: Hero | Hash Pipe | All the Good Ones | Beverly Hills | The End of the Game | My Name Is Jonas | Pork and Beans | Feels Like Summer | All My Favorite Songs | Undone – The Sweater Song | Surf Wax America | El Scorcho | Island in the Sun | Africa (Toto cover) | California Snow | Say It Ain’t So | Buddy Holly.
Fall Out Boy: The Phoenix | Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down | Irresistible | Uma Thurman | Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy | Save Rock and Roll | The Last of the Real Ones | Dance, Dance | A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More “Touch Me” | This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race | My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up) | I Don’t Care | Thanks For the Memories | Centuries | Saturday.
Green Day : American Idiot | Holiday | Know Your Enemy | Pollyanna | Boulevard of Broken Dreams | Longview | Welcome to Paradise | Hitchin’ a Ride | Rock and Roll All Nite (KISS cover) | Brain Stew | St. Jimmy | When I Come Around | 21 Guns | Minority |Knowledge (Operation Ivy cover) | Basket Case | She | Wake Me Up When September Ends | Still Breathing | Jesus of Suburbia | Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).
There are a few more US dates left, then the tour heads to Europe in 2022.