The last two Green Day discs were tailor-made for arenas, with this year’s “21st Century Breakdown” even more anthemic and turbocharged with sharp, linear riffs than their huge commercial breakthrough from five years before, “American Idiot.” Reports from the first few gigs of the tour indicate the band plays about a half-dozen tracks from both, plus a decent sampling of older material, including “Insomniac” and a closing “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” performed solo by Billie Joe Armstrong.
The group doubles in size to a six-piece, and there are reportedly plenty of pyrotechnics not even counting the expected political grenades. I can’t imagine Green Day not shifting gears after these last two, so if you’re a recent convert, catch ’em now. Tickets are relatively cheap and the opening act, NYC’s The Bravery, is a solid complement.
Green Day at Target Center, Saturday, July 11, 8 p.m., tickets $25-49.50.
I won’t pretend that the Meat Puppets have rescaled to the heights of “Up On The Sun or Too High To Die” since brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood reunited after a dozen years for “Rise To Your Knees” in ’07, and then upgraded their chops and material on “Sewn Together”this year. And I’m certainly not going to try and sell the uninitiated (it will be crowded enough) on what it means to see a band like the Pups in a tiny venue like the Entry for a mere 15 bucks, a jaw-dropping confluence of circumstance owing to it being the 25th anniversary of the trio’s first appearance there. Expect the little black joint to be like a delirious sardine can; earplugs optional.
The Meat Puppets at the 7th St. Entry, Sunday, July 12, 8 p.m.; $15.
Hipster alert: Honeyhoney is a male-female duo with the requisite attitude and timing to front their minimal but arresting arrangements. Their first video features and was directed by Kiefer Sutherland, who also happens to co-own the record label that released Hh’s debut, First Rodeo. Vocalist Suzanne Santo can approximate the curlicue plaint of Billie Holiday and the neo-soul wooze of Amy Winehouse; soundscaper Ben Jaffe freelances like a handyman in a garage but it’s not hard to hear his appreciation for jazz, c&w and bluegrass, r&b, and the rewards of pop simplicity.
Live, the music is even more stripped down. Here they are in bluegrass mode–Santo on fiddle–for “Come On Home.” And here’s a live duo rendition of their first single, “Little Toy Gun:”
The Kiefer vid of the same song is here.
Honeyhoney at the Varsity Theater, Sunday, July 12, 8 p.m.; $15