year: 1994

Rare Review Newspaper Green Day About Concert 1994 Boston Hatch Shell Riot; Scan.   Green Day crowd explodes at the Hatch Shell Heights Staff Writer Any time a concert has more injuries reported than songs played, it can be described as “slightly out of hand.” But when the concert is given by an overnight pop/punk sensation such as Green Day. the show is free, and roughly 100,000 screaming college students show up ready to celebrate the beginning of a new school year, “out of hand” doesn’t quite seem to describe it.“The End of the World as we know it” seems a little closer. To get an accurate idea of what being at this show was like, try imagining what it was like at the destruction of the Berlin Wall, large numbers of people smoking marijuana, punk rock, a few, calm Back Bay residents, and then make the Hatch Shell Esplanade into one large mosh pit. This was basically the experience for concert goers at the WFNX/Boston Phoenix “New Music Series” concert Friday night. But what was intended to be a highprofile concert ended up becoming an event the likes of which Boston hasn’t seen in quite a long time. It is amazing to consider that many people stayed away from the show because of the rain. Even with this obstacle, attendance at the show has been estimated from between 70,000 to more than 100,000 people, far more than the 40,000-50,000 people that were estimated in the wildest dreams of WFNX’s promotions department. When opening group The Meices, of Los Angeles, started their set at 7 p.m., the crowd was large, but fairly peaceful, seeming to be more of a neighborhood fair and punk rock fashion show. The opening act was high energy and good (if slightly uninspired), and finished off after about 40 minutes. But it was in the interim when several thousand more people tried to shove their way closer to the stage, and when darkness completely fell, which led to the entire crowd becoming increasingly anxious and rowdy. Green Day finally came on around 8:15 and went into a high energy set instantly, beginning with their latest single “Welcome To Paradise” (certainly an ironic choice for the setting). The crowd responded instantly, pushing forward and eventually knocking down the extra barrier. Concert goers threw things at the stage, including (but not limited too) mud, bottles, items of clothing and. occasionally, other concert goers. Off of recorded material, Green Day is a vigorous, powerful band. In person, they touched off a near riot, making people fill the grassy esplanade area, climb trees, and wreck havoc, all in an attempt to catch even a glimpse of the band. The crowd was a combination of Bikers, Metal Heads, Slackers, Back Bay residents, Punk Rockers, Members of the Press, and, of course, Freshmen by the truck load, but everyone of them seemed to be united in the effort to survive. The mosh pits were violent, and the non-Mosh areas were packed so tightly that they might as well have been pits also. The fourth song of the evening was the high speed “Chump,” which, as it does on Green Day’s album “Dookie,” segued directly hit single “Longview.” As was to be expected, several distinct lines of the song had the entire crowd singing along. Immediately afterwards they went into “Basketcase,” and followed this up by dedicating “Burnout” to the police officers, (of which there were not quite enough), in the crowd. It was then announced that the final song would be dedicated to the crowd, but half-way thorough it, after Billie Joe jumped down into the security area, and after the bottle throwing became more prevalent, the music was abruptly cut off, and the band was hustled off the stage. Even with the abrupt end to the show after about 26 minutes, this show was a raving success. It was one of the best parties seen in this area in quite a while, and it featured one of the best bands in punk rock today. One concert goer, who asked to remain nameless described the event, saying: “It seemed like no one was there to listen to the music, they were just there to beat the s*** out of each other.” But whatever reason people were there, the whole thing was fun. Not good clean fun as concert organizers hoped for. but the kind of fun that occurs when a great concert goes slightly overboard.