I said yeah, I've heard of them. Also, do you validate parking?
|Sep 11||Public post|| 4|
Yesterday morning I was reading the internet while drinking my 11th cup of coffee when I saw Green Day announce a huge tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy. There were hundreds of comments from people and, not having a job, I read every single one. Lots of stoked fans, lots of “come to Brazil”-type messages. Then I saw one from some guy that stood out: “2 out of 3 ain’t bad.” Haha yeah, I thought. You can probably guess which two I would want to see as a child of the 90s, but then I realized that maybe he meant a different two? Maybe everyone who goes to the tour has their own favorite two and one that they’re kinda meh on.
Later that afternoon, after my 19th cup of coffee, I was getting a haircut when my friend Katie who works at Billboard texted me. She asked me to go the Green Day concert. I said I’d never heard of them. How cool is that? So I went to her room and read her diary.
Wait, hang on. That started as a joke but applying it to a real person is making me realize how deeply creepy that song is. My apologies to Katie, who is a lovely human and did not deserve to be dragged into my Weezer creep-quoting!
Anyway, so I promptly wrapped up my shitty haircut, grabbed my camera, and headed to the Whisky on Sunset, which is a little dive venue that used to, and probably still does, host hair metal shows and you’d only ever go there if you got commissioned to cover a show like for example Green Day, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy. The story is on Billboard now if you’d like to read my very professional recap of it. But that’s MY WORK and I like to think of this newsletter as me shooting the shit with you on my lunchbreak while I vape.
So I wanted to talk about something that runs through my mind whenever I get paid to cover an event like this, as a financially stingy person. To pull back the curtain on music journalisms, a show review like this will maybe pay around $250. Ish. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Yes, even for an extremely famous celebrity author like myself.
OK, so $250. Put it up on the big board. Let’s start the counter.
First off, there’s no place to park in West Hollywood because I guess the city figures that no one with a brain would want to remain in West Hollywood for more than five minutes. So it’s either take a pricey Uber there and back or park in a garage and now that I think of it wasn’t the CEO of Uber some Trump supporter shithead or something? Anyway I parked in a garage which, for the night, maxed out at $15. Down to $235.
Once I parked I had 20 minutes to eat and I knew that if I went to the show hangry I ran an extremely high risk of going to jail for triple homicide and those bail fees would’ve eaten into the $250. So I hit Five Guys and scarfed a 16-dollar burger and fries. $219.
I don’t drink alcohol, which would greatly eat into the pot, but I did get a $3 bottle of water and left a $1 tip (very kind). Minus the gas it took to drive each way and let’s just round down to $210. If they had some dumb merch for sale I probably would’ve bought that too but they did not. Also, a $10 button broke off my camera and I lost it. $200.
So I think I played that pretty conservatively and kept it to $200. Keep in mind that taxes will practically cut that in half. So for a work day that started at 7 PM and finished at 3 AM (which is when I filed the story), you’re pocketing just over a hundred bucks. If you don’t drink any alcohol or take any Ubers or try to make life easier on yourself in the slightest.
When I break it down like that, I start to feel pretty shitty about my career path. Then I remember that I used to unload trucks for money. I had to climb onto hot 18-footers in the middle of summer and carry huge boxes out. I pulled my shoulder out once, I burned my hand, I fucked up my back. It sucked and I hated it. So I think that if I could go back in time and tell that version of me that I’d one day be collecting checks to go see Green Day and Weezer, I’d kindly tell myself to shut the fuck up. Shit, I guess I just gave away my two out of three there.
For the record, Pete Wentz kinda seems like a nice guy? I dunno! I’ve never met him I don’t think. My friend David and I once did a podcast episode about him and discovered that he dropped out of college to be a manager at Subway and that his grandfather was the US ambassador to Sierra Leone. But I really only know that “goin’ down swinging” song from karaoke bars. Mostly I just wanted to see Weezer and Green Day.
Before the show started, I was debating with a woman next to me about what the order of the lineup would be. Want to take a guess? No, wrong. Swap them. It was Weezer (8 PM), FOB (9 PM), Green Day (10 PM).
Weezer has a funny little racket going these days. They’ve got a trove of classic Blue Album/Pinkerton jams people will always wanna hear. They busted out “Say It Ain’t So” and “The Sweater Song,” natch. And, being in Los Angeles, they were legally obligated to play “Beverly Hills.” Then they played some ridiculous video game song they had just released and of course the “Africa” cover, for which I still feel partly responsible. How they didn’t play “El Scorcho”—WHICH HAS A GREEN DAY MENTION IN IT—I have no idea.
Wait, pause for a second. The tour is called the Hella Mega Tour which is honestly the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard in my life.
OK, so after Weezer, Fall Out Boy played and I already said the thing about how I don’t know their music but Pete Wentz seems kinda cool and he follows me on Twitter maybe he and I could hang out sometime. The singer with the fedora kept throwing guitar picks into the crowd and they kept hitting me. Like, man, I’m not gonna pick these up for you!
So then Green Day came on and, friends, I was fucking pumped. I saw some of my punk pals online that morning making jokes about their new album/tour since they went full Beach Slang about it on Twitter. And while clowning on Green Day for a few off-notes they’ve hit over a long career is all well and good, it should also be noted that Green Day is the most influential band of my generation. Period, full stop. I thought about tweeting that out but then I envisioned all the jabronis jumping in my mentions and I just said fuck it. A dream of mine has long been to get paid to write books about big ideas I have instead of arguing with chumps about it online so that’s what I’m doing. Speaking of MY BOOK, someone I interviewed for it mentioned that “Green Day is one of the greatest live bands of all time.” Seeing them plow through hit after hit after hit, it’s hard to argue with that.
OK, that’s a very cheesy place to leave off but I only got four hours of sleep so sorry if this doesn’t make any sense. Thanks to Billboard and Katie for sending me to cover this since I am much too poor to catch the tour when it comes to Dodgers Stadium.