Don’t be an American Idiot

All hell is preparing to break lose as two of rock’s most popular bands grace the USF campus tonight. Tickets to the event have been sold out for more than a month.

Green Day will be rocking the foundation of the USF Sun Dome and they’ve brought My Chemical Romance along for the ride. One of the most prolific pop-punk bands of the past 15 years, Green Day has generated new interest by investing in a classic punk trick: criticizing the government.

On tour to support rock-opera American Idiot, Green Day has gone from the brink of obscurity to mainstream superstars. When both International Superhits and the group’s b-sides collection Shenanigans flopped on the album charts, no one would have guessed that the band’s next effort would become a chart-topping album and spawn three hit singles.

Last year, bashing President Bush was not only appropriate, it was good for business. On the cinematic front, Fahrenheit 9/11 became the highest-grossing documentary ever, and its whopping $119-million domestic take beat blockbusters such as The Village, Collateral and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Green Day led the recording industry’s assault on the incumbent with American Idiot, topping three million in sales.

The band formed in California in 1989, and its two independent releases — the EP 1,000 Hours and Smoothed Out Slappy Hour — went mostly unnoticed. It wasn’t until the release of Kerplunk! in 1992 that the band found underground acceptance and a contract with Geffen Records. Timing was everything for Green Day’s success, as with the dawn of 1994 grunge began to wane in popularity and its poster child, Kurt Cobain, was found dead. The airwaves were ripe for a new trend, and Dookie was it. The album cemented Green Day’s reputation as pop stars when the record sold upward of 10 million copies. Every single lifted from the album became a massive hit, with “Longview,” “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around” topping both mainstream pop and rock charts.

Green Day was labeled sellouts by the hardcore punk community but brought the style and attitude of the music to the masses like no other band had done before. Suddenly, teens who knew nothing about The Ramones or Sex Pistols were sporting the looks those bands made famous in the ’70s.

Subsequent records Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning failed to reach the same level of success that Dookie did. And with the exception of 1997’s omnipresent “Time of Your Life (Good Riddance),” Green Day disappeared from the playlists of pop and top 40 stations across the country.

Taking time off and crafting an album that takes more than a few shots at the current administration, Green Day has returned. Winning a Grammy for Best Rock Album, maintaining permanent placement in Billboard’s top 10 albums and topping numerous other Billboard charts with the record’s second single “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” the band is riding high.

Eager to share the wealth, Green Day has up-and-coming band My Chemical Romance as the opening act.

My Chemical Romance has had an eventful year, as Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge has been certified gold and the band has found success with modern-rock hits “Helena” and “I’m Not Okay (I Promise).”

The event promises to be one of the loudest, rudest and funniest concerts to hit the Sun Dome in a long while. Mixing pounding guitar riffs and politically driven lyrics, the Green Day show will keep fans spinning their copy of American Idiot for a bit longer.

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