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Album Review: “Awesome As F**k”

Album Review: Awesome As F**k
Album Review: “Awesome As F**k”

Artist | Green Day

Grade | A-

What Marisha Pietrowski thinks:

Green Day was named as the best live band by the British magazine Kerrang!, and the band’s new live CD and DVD set, “Awesome as F**k,” proves why this distinction is appropriate.

Recorded at various shows on their 2009-10 tour, the compilation shows the amount of talent, passion and energy the band brings.

Green Day’s work is often divided into two eras — pre-and post-“American Idiot,” their 2004 release that won the band three Grammys. “Awesome as F**k” features songs for fans of the newer music and the old classics.

The album works best when it highlights the older songs that aren’t widely known. Tracks such as “Burnout,” “Going to Pasalacqua,” “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?,” “J.A.R.” and the previously unreleased “Cigarettes and Valentines” provide insight into the band’s early days.

The new songs pack a punch, too. Watching the DVD performances of “Know Your Enemy” “¡Viva la Gloria!” “Holiday” and the nine-minute epic “Jesus of Suburbia,” it’s impossible not to sing along to the music and dance in your seat. The emotional, note-perfect of “21 Guns,” with an audience sing-a-long helps it become anthemic.

Radio staples like “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” and “When I Come Around” are given new life when performed live, showing why they are culturally relevant nearly 20 years after their respective releases.

No matter the song, the band members perform like it’s the last time they will ever be onstage. In fact, the album title does not come from an ego-driven belief that the band is “Awesome as F**k,” but from signs that fans would hold up during the concerts.

Billie Joe Armstrong is a charismatic front man who knows how to work the crowd. Bassist Mike Dirnt isn’t seen much, but every time the camera pans to him, it’s easy to see that he loves being on stage.

However, in terms of technical musicianship, it’s drummer Tré Cool who is astounding. He never misses a beat and remains a loud, passionate presence during the songs. Even though he is the most outrageous of the band members (try not getting scared when the camera shows him smiling like some sort of sinister demon), he is nothing but serious about his work.

As the title suggests, this isn’t a family-friendly compilation. This is a loud, profane, thrashing look into the world of Green Day. Even the casual Green Day fan will find something they enjoy, and die-hards will likely love the career-spanning collection.

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