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SLCene Suggests: Green Day’s American Idiot at Kingsbury Hall

by on December 2, 2013

GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT, KINGSBURY HALL, Tuesday, Dec. 3-Thursday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m., $42/$52/$64.50/$15 students

When pop-punk trio Green Day released their American Idiot album in 2004, it marked an ambitious release from a band that many viewed on the downside of its career. Instead, the rock opera about childhood friends’ respective paths in post-9/11 America proved a creative and commercial high point for rock music in the ’00s, as well as a rebirth of sorts for the trio of Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt. The album sold millions, and the story of St. Jimmy and his friends earned Green Day millions in sales and the ability to push the concept even further on their 2009 follow-up, 21st Century Breakdown. In a move that one could argue solidifies the band’s punk street-cred–or solidify one’s view of the band as sell-outs, depending on your perspective–Armstrong and Co. adapted the American Idiot story into a brash, bombastic Broadway musical that gained accolades for its energy and atypical approach to musical theater. I saw this touring production about a week ago, and I can vouch for its creative choreography and visual appeal. And as a fan of Green Day’s source material, I could enjoy the fact that the show is short on dialogue and told primarily through the familiar lyrics of the band’s songs. Anyone unfamiliar with the music or the album’s story lines, though, might find themselves struggling to keep up with the various characters as they strain to catch the lyrics coming through the rock and roll soundtrack.


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