Selling out stadiums across America, the Hella Mega Tour finally rolled into San Diego on the gorgeous Sunday afternoon of August 29th. The vibe was this happy, positive, calming energy. Yes!! We are finally back, doing what we love with the people that get it! Of course, there were a few new rules for the safety of the band and crew. All good, we understand, we can do it — just play for us!
We just wanted to see band faces, sing and dance, and feel the music penetrate our souls again.
The Interrupters, a Los Angeles-based ska band, came out onstage to the intro of “Ghost Town”, which the stadium definitely was not. Fans were all up on the rail, singing with Aimee Interrupter “A Friend Like Me”, “Bad Guy” (a Billie Eilish cover) and closing it out with their smash ska hit “She’s Kerosene”.
Weezer brought us back to the 80s, with their neon set and opening up with a cover of Van Halen’s “Jump”. What’s the 80s without a goofy gym teacher? Rivers Cuomo rocked the look, with his mullet and sweat band. In the song “El Scorcho”, the lyrics are “I asked you to go to the Green Day concert”; Rivers paused the song and the crowd went wild… ’How cool is this?’ They threw out some beach balls to give us beach vibes for “Island in the Sun”. Of course, we got to hear our favs that we all love — “Beverly Hills”, “Hash Pipe” and ending with “Buddy Holly”.
Fall Out Boy opened their set like “The Phoenix”, setting the stage on fire with pyrotechnics and Pete Wentz parading around with his flame thrower bass. “Save Rock & Roll” is a song featuring Elton John; for a minute, we thought Elton was actually onstage behind that flaming piano… but, it was Patrick Stump’s amazing impression of the Rocket Man. The entire stadium was shining bright with swaying cell phone lights. Andrew Hurley and his drum kit were put up on a high pedestal for “Dance, Dance” and “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me’”. We joked around that he was going to do some Tommy Lee shit. Fall Out Boy ended their set with “Saturday” from their first album, Take This to Your Grave.
One of the things I love most about a Green Day show is when you hear “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
That means they are coming out soon, but first, let’s bring everyone together. Everyone knows this song. Everyone sings it loudly. It’s amazing to hear thousands of people stop whatever they were doing and sing all the parts and all the animations to go with it. Following right after was “Blitzkrieg” with Drunk Bunny. Rumor has it, that it could have been Billie Joe, maybe Tre Cool in that costume. Will we ever know?
Starting off the show with “American Idiot”, having seen Green Day a few times, this was definitely a different vibe. Billie Joe is known to be pretty outspoken about his views on politics. What Green Day delivered on this night was exactly what we all needed. No politics (maybe in an incognito way), just a good time all being together as one. Singing our favorite songs, feeling every bit of “Still Breathing” and “When September Ends”, the stadium lit up with cell phone flashlights. One lucky fan was pulled up onstage to play “Knowledge” with Billie Joe before the band ended the night with “Good Riddance”. Yes, I did indeed have the time of my life! This lineup is brilliantly put together for the ultimate good vibes bringing us all back together. Thanks Hella Mega Tour!
Photography by Heather Vandemark; Article by Kaiya Vandemark & Heather Vandemark