I’ve decided to pull another one out of the archives for you guys. Unfortunately this is another article that was lost due to my poor planning so I will do my best to recount the details for you all.
In August of 2017 I travelled from Healy, Alaska to Auburn, Washington to see Green Day for the first time. This was the first time I had travelled from Alaska specifically for just a concert and It was definitely an adventure, but Green Day was the band that started it all for me. I couldn’t miss the opportunity. So I worked out my plans. I arranged the time off work and a friend borrowed our boss’s car to drive me to the airport in Fairbanks. I had just gotten off work and didn’t even have time to change out of my uniform before we were on our way. I borrowed a flannel to throw over my tank top and swapped out the slip on vans I wear for work for my doc martens.
I landed at the Sea-Tac airport around 4 in the morning on the day of the concert. The White River Amphitheater is where I had attended warped tour the year before so I was a bit familiar with it, and I knew that it was way out in the middle of nowhere. So I chilled in the airport for a couple hours and had some breakfast. I was going to be spending the night in a hostel then flying back the next day so I only brought a bag with me that I knew would be able to get though security at the venue, I had the bare minimum when it came to clothes (That part I didn’t really think through well enough). From the airport I took public transportation out to the amphitheater. It took me like three hours and just as many buses but I finally made it.
White River Amphitheater is out in the middle of nowhere with nothing really around. When I arrived out there I was not at all surprised to see that I wasn’t the first person, but it did surprise me that everyone was just kind of sitting around on the side of the road. They were not letting anyone in near the actual entrance. There was a heat advisory that day and just having come from Alaska I was not prepared for it so I sat in the shade of the venue’s sign and got to know some of the other people around me. They all had really interesting stories to tell and I wish that I’d thought to get some contact information for them. The closest public place was over a mile away so thankfully the security guarding the entrance was nice enough to let a few of us at a time slip into the parking lot to use a porta potty.
When the time came to move to the lines everyone threw aside the plans they’d made to all stay in line and made a mad dash to line up at the main gates, this show was the first time I’d managed to get VIP tickets which I was thankful for because I was exhausted and would not have been up for the run across the parking lot. I still managed to be the first person to the VIP check in tent.
I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed by the VIP set up for this show. We were given plastic Revolution Radio bags with the merch inside and then led to a tent. In the tent they had some old equipment set up as well as a large banner we could take photos in front of. The Banner was interesting, it was covered with images from the bands current album as well as past albums and we were all encouraged to sign it, this was the first show of the tour leg so it had not been written on yet but we were told that it would be used at every VIP tent on the tour, if anybody has pictures of it from later on in the tour I’d love to see it. Once it was time for us to move into the venue we were brought first to the merch tent and then from there to the stage. Thanks to the early entry I was able to be right on the barricade almost center stage. Despite the sun beating down on me and burning my shoulders to a crisp I was not going to move from that spot.
The venue filled up quickly once the main gates were open and everyone was crowded in. The opening band for this show was the British band Catfish & the Bottlemen. I enjoyed their set; they had a lot of energy and despite not seeming too familiar with such large shows the singer managed to keep the crowd entertained. I haven’t really heard much about them since them but I certainly liked their sound; what I could hear at least. The acoustics at the amphitheater aren’t really the best from right in front of the stage.
After Catfish & the Bottlemen’s set finished a sheet was raised to cover the stage as they set up for Green Day. Like most of their shows Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody marked the countdown to the start of their set along with the drunken bunny running out to dance around.
It’s been a year and 23 days since this show so I can’t remember the exact line up. However I won’t forget the performance they put on. As someone who grew up listening to Green Day it was really everything that I’d expected it to be; from the bands interactions with the crowd to the pyrotechnics. The band pulled a kid who couldn’t have been more than ten onto the stage to sing ‘Know your enemy’ and he really stole the show before diving back into the crowd (don’t worry security made sure he was returned to his brother.) A girl with a birthday sash on was pulled up to play guitar for a song and then was given the guitar to keep. My phone at the time was really falling apart and held together with electrical tape and a battery pack so I really could not get any shots of the show that way, but part of the VIP package was a disposable camera. I used up the whole film but I have yet to get the pictures developed. I think when I get settled into my new apartment for the winter I’ll get it developed and share the photos with you all on here.
Seeing Green Day live was a dream come true for me. The show was stunning and a memory I’ll never forget. One of Billie Joel’s guitar pics sits proudly in my treasure box as a memory that it was all real. I hope that I’ll get to see them again soon.