The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Band of Skulls
Green Day had roughly 15 years, 7 studio albums and 1 Greatest Hits package under their studded belts before issuing their first live CD/DVD (2005's Bullet In A Bible), but here comes a second live collection, with only 2009's 21st Century Breakdown being the only new album in between. I suppose when bands begin taking several years off between studio albums, you can expect record labels to usher these things into stores to tide fans over and keep the money flowing in. However Green Day certainly has enough history and material to fuel multiple live albums, which at least gave Awesome As F**k a chance to live up to its title, even though it falls short. The disappointment with Bullet In A Bible was that it served mainly as a live document of American Idiot, with only a handful of older songs tossed into the mix. Awesome As F**k is more career-spanning, and even though a handful of songs from 21st Century Breakdown is to be expected, it's the inclusion of b-side "J.A.R.", a couple of pre-Dookie songs, and a newer, previously unreleased one ("Cigarettes And Valentines") that make this a welcome release.
Elsewhere, the album is mostly careful to avoid repeating songs from the last live album, though did anyone really need reprises of "American Idiot", "Holiday" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends"? Of course "Good Riddance" makes its obligatory appearance, but expecting Green Day to leave that out of their set is like expecting Foo Fighters to deny their fans "Everlong". (Still, someone needs to explain to Billie Joe that while he may understandably be sick of singing that song, we pay to hear him sing it - not the crowd.) This CD/DVD package also gets credit for not giving fans the exact same thing twice: while the DVD consists of one specific concert, the selections on the CD are culled from multiple nights - so while many of the songs overlap, only one performance ("Geek Stink Breath") is the same on both.