In the world of concert DVD’s, few match up to the real thing. Until now. Green Day’s first DVD, Bullet in a Bible, takes you on a thrill ride through the eyes of the Jesus of Suburbia straight to the mosh pits of Minority.
Green Day is:
Billy Joe Armstrong: Guitar, Lead Vocals: Genius songwriter, amazing guitarist, and master of the live show. Deep, emotional lyrics combine with his take no prisioners style to produce one kick ass live show
Mike Dirnt: Bass, Vocals: “THE BEST PUNK ROCK BASSIST IN THE WORLD” says Billy Joe on the DVD, and it’s hard to disagree. Hands moving at the speed of light to produce bass sounds only he can produce. Bass solo, anyone?
Tre Cool: Drums, Vocals: what a great drummer, and by far the drummer with the most style. You may come across one in a generation with as much style as Tre Cool. Along with amazing fills and rolls, he makes drumming not just an instrument, but a way of life.
Recorded in Milton Keynes, England at the National Bowl during Green Day’s 2005 tour, Bullet in a Bible packs as much punk rock as the flimsy disk can hold. 65,000 rabid Green Day fans fit into the vast field at the National Bowl for a once in a lifetime concert. Any band can put together a concert DVD, but Bullet in a Bible goes above and beyond showing candid interviews in documentary form in between the live set. Also unlike other bands, Green Day actually sounds as good if not better in concert.
Part one: The Concert
If you had the luxury to catch them on tour this year, the DVD will stack up with that experience and then some. The first section of the DVD is 5 songs off American Idiot – The Title track kicks off the concert with an amazing BANG! of smoke effects to really get the crowd going. Jesus of Suburbia is complete with Billy Joe’s usually live passion, topped off with a crazy pyrotechnics display at the end of the song. To start off Holiday, Billy Joe screams “THIS SONG IS NOT ANTI-AMERICAN, IT IS ANTI-WAR!!!!” Mikes bass skills really shine through in Holiday, especially during the bass interlude section, when Billy Joe commands full attention screaming “LIGHTS OUT!” while spotlighting the crowd. Are We the Waiting is my least favorite American Idiot track, and there is nothing significant about it during the concert. St. Jimmy follows, with Billy Joe singing his heart out while going crazy on stage. The truest song that calls back to their Oakland, CA punk roots, St. Jimmy is an explosion of energy. After a lingering pause at the end, Billy Joe screams “AND DON’T YOU F***ING WEAR IT OUT” at the top of his lungs.
Next is a quartet of some of their most popular songs, starting off with Longview. The amazing bass line never ceases to amaze me with this song, and it has never let me down. A lot of cat calling to the crowd goes on in this song, but it doesn’t seem too over the top. Yet. The Nimrod classic and my personal favorite, Hitchin’ a Ride explodes with typical Green Day energy, with another crowd cat call. Brain Stew is heavily built up to, and it doesn’t disappoint. At the end, giant flames shoot up from the stage, showing off the great production skills. Basket Case is practically sung half by the crowd, but oh well. The energy in Basket Case in phenomenal, with moshing everywhere you look. King For a Day/ Shout is one of Billy’s concert favorites, and for good reason. Included is a trumpeter and a saxophonist, introduced with the rest of the band prior to the song. Parading around the stage in a crown, Billy Joe captivates the crow, cat calling yet again with a thunderous response. At the end of King for a Day is a cover of the 60’s hit “Shout”, which is nice, but I don’t really care for Billy’s high pitched yea,yea,yea,yea ing
Wake Me Up When September Ends receives a tremendous cheer as it starts, but I just can’t see why. Its one of the weakest songs on American Idiot IMO, and not a very good concert song. I dunno what they see in it that I don’t. skip.
The Anthem minority then explodes with a high tempo high energy intro that is one of the best done songs live. Along with the regular song, Billy Joe includes a killer solo, making this the best concert song by far. Oh yea, and the accordion is FREAKIN AWESOME!!
Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Good Riddance conclude the concert in a proper manner. A hard rocker and then a ballad commence, arguably two of Green Day’s most popular songs ever. Boulevard is fantastic live, but lacks the pizzazz that some of the others have. Good Riddance is done solo by Billy, with all 65,000 fans as backup singers. A very fitting song for a great concert, as every single attendant had the “time of their life”. A massive fireworks show ends the concert with a standing ovation
Part Two: the Documentary
In between all of the songs, you get a candid look of what Green Day is like off the camera, as well as a very emotion tour of a world war two museum. Mostly interviews, the solemn Billy Joe, the stolid Mike Drint, and the extravagant Tre cool give an inside look at their view of American Idiot, and a variety of other topics, such as snorting sprinkles (guess who talked about that…..). We get an inside look at how Green Day prepares for a concert of this magnitude as well as all the work going into it to produce it. My favorite documentary segment is the world war two museum, where they find the ‘bullet in a bible’. Billy Joe reflects, saying that they are “inside someone else’s worst nightmares”, from the giant tanks to a replica atomic bomb.
This DVD is not for the light at heart. This is for any casual Green Day fan to a Green Day die hard. Any music love will enjoy this album, and I will go as far to call it an absolute masterpiece in the world of concert DVD’s. Bullet in a Bible gets a 4.5/5.