Green Day’s new album, as the title suggests, is a proclamation to the world about their awesomeness. Awesome As F**k is their latest album + DVD which people think is the follow-up to their 21st Century Breakdown album. Do they stand up to the occasion? Yup. But this is not their immediate next after 21st Century Breakdown as they had come up with another 7-song E.P. called Last Night On Earth: Live In Tokyo from which four songs have made it to Awesome as F**k.
Green Day has been repeatedly criticized for being a sell-out and I am sure that a lot of critics would say that Awesome As F**k isn’t all that great but this is because they are obviously comparing it to their previous live album, ‘Bullet in a Bible’. BIB was a follow up to ‘American Idiot’ and had a huge-ass arena feel to it. It made Green Day feel like God’s favourite band. However, Awesome As F**k is more about Green Day’s music and not just the rock operas which has brought them all of the recent fan following. This album actually goes back to the time when Green Day wasn’t what it is today. They mix these songs with their recent hits and thus, unlike BIB, you have a wider selection of songs in this track list.
Here, it must be noted that this is no chronicled history of Green Day but is rather a showcase of what a Green Day concert is like. This is taken care of even in the mastering of some of the songs as it is evident that have been digitally made to sound as if they were bootlegs. So you have a crazy ass 21st Century Breakdown opening following by some songs that you might have heard recently (from ‘21st Century Breakdown’ and ‘American Idiot’). Cigarettes and Valentines appears for the first time on this album. The song was written for ‘Warning’, the album that was released as the master records were stolen and Green Day ended up doing ‘American Idiot’ instead. Songs such as Going to Pasalacqua, When I Come Around, J.A.R., Burnout, Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?, Geek Stink Breath and She take you back to the time when no one would ever have imagined that these boys from Berkeley who spoke of teenage problems would make it so far. At the end of the album, you have the arena-booming anthems in American Idiot which you must hear just for the guitar solo. 21 Guns, Wake Me Up When September Ends also feature here. They end in true Green Day-style by finishing with Good Riddance (Time of your Life). The iTunes version of the album adds three more renditions of their classics.
Tre Cool beats the shit out of the drums, Billie Joe goes mad just the way he normally is on stage. Mike Dirnt does what most people can’t imagine doing with the bass. Jason White and the other Green Day supporting musicians appear on this one and maybe it is this addition of their instruments to the songs that makes the live version sound better than the album version. Amidst all this madness, if you listen to them carefully, you’ll realize how much the band has matured in terms of performance and production.
For one, I loved the album personally like any other fan would but does it make sense to buy this album if you aren’t a die-hard Green Day fan? It surely does because this one takes you to the punk roots of the band and gives you an insight into what they were before American Idiot happened.
Personal favourites? Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?, American Idiot and When I Come Around.
If you do manage to get your hands on the DVD, do watch it. It has the entire Tokyo Concert and is a visual treat.