Green Day is the only band I can remember where I was when I first heard them. No, I wasn’t first on the scene. It was the latter half of 1993 at two in the morning. I was staying over at my friend Buz’s house. We spammed the Breeders Last Splash during another evening of shared drawing space on his drafting table. Buz had already gone to bed while I was just finishing up. In the 90’s, we had something that would intermittently report on music called Music Television. It was here were they introduced Green Day’s live performance at a festival and played Longview. I bought the album as soon as it came out.

That was twenty three years ago. The last time I saw them perform was in 2003 when they toured with Blink 182. Anyone who knows me, knows, I hate driving, but I drove to Cleveland’s Blossom Music Center to photograph them for the first time. They haven’t lost a step.

The band has had it’s ups and down with success, and maybe that’s what makes their live performance so great. They are a spectacle to see live with explosions and pyrotechnics without shying away from their crowd pleasers. Still, it goes much further than that. They

They can’t shake the hand of every ticket holder at their show, but they do try to make great memories for those who support them, one fan at a time. The very first song, they bring a fan on stage to sing a few bars and send them back in the audience, nudging them to stage dive, probably for the first time.

Acts like these not only make the fans have a great story to tell, but have the potential to be a life changing experience. If Green Day brought me on stage and sent me off with a  new guitar, which they are known for doing for one aspiring guitarist at each performance, I know would start dedicating more time to playing that guitar.

One by one they attempted to reach each of us. If nothing else, this keeps the love of rock music alive a little longer for one person, who is sure to share that memory with others.