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Hella Awesome: Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer Bring The Hella Mega Tour to Citizen’s Bank in Philly

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Pop Break Live: The Hella Mega Tour 2021 – Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer, The Interrupters at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia

Words by Logan J. Fowler | Photos by Al Mannarino

When I first heard of the Hella Mega Tour, my thought was: “Wow, three major bands in one evening, including my favorite band of all time (Green Day, by the way)? Unreal! I have to go to this.” I hinted this thought to my wife, and she said “okay” or something along those lines. Not in a negative way, mind you. It was definitely more of a shared enthusiasm, even though neither of us are big concert goers. I showed interest in the concert at the New York City/Cit Field location, moreover, on Facebook. You know how you can say “Interested” on a Facebook event? Well, that’s what I did.

It was Fall of 2019. My wife, seeing that I might spring for tickets on my own, gave me a ticket print out that here and I were indeed going to see Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer in the summer of 2020 at Citizen’s Bank in Philadelphia. Furthermore, this would be a Christmas gift I would cash in on in due time!

Except due time was a little bit longer than expected. We’ll get to that part. Anyway, circa January 2020, my wife found out she was pregnant, and due in September. The concert was in August 2020, and we were wondering if she would manage being full term pregnant at a really loud rock show. We debated me going with someone else, or her just pushing through the exhaustion and late night for the sake of one more big fun time before we became parents.

Well fate decided for us that we were going to see this concert but not August 2020 but August 2021, and not as soon-to-be parents, but parents of a near one year old baby boy. Covid-19 came around March 2020, cancelling the world, locking us in for safety. and moreover, pushing the Hella Mega Tour a year later. With that said, we locked down babysitters, and “mom and dad” drove to Philly to eat overpriced food, drink overpriced drinks, but more importantly get a late and loud night out, together, finally!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the concert in time for the opening band — The Interrupters — due to the intense traffic in the area. However, photographer Al Mannarino did catch the band, know for their hit “She’s Kerosene,” on stage.

Anyway, Weezer came on around 6:30, and we were standing in line for food when this occurred. Missed the first couple of songs: a cover of Van Halen’s “Jump”, “Beverly Hills”, and “Hash Pipe”, to name a few, but finally got seated and rocked out to “My Name is Jonas”,  and “Pork and Beans.” Then the band launched into more recent songs that I downloaded a couple days later, with “Feels Like Summer” and “All my Favorite Songs.”

With a couple breaks for songs like “Surf Wax America”, and “California Snow,” Weezer the kept last third of their set list to more popular hits: “El Scorcho,” “Island in the Sun,” and “Say it Ain’t So.” My wife and I sang our hearts out to their cover of Toto’s “Africa”, as we both adore their cover and the original. The band concluded with arguably their most popular song, and one that would bring you all the way back to 1994 — “Buddy Holly.” A perfect way to conclude one third of the main headliners! Definitely an amazing set of songs and performance by the band, and I’m going to download more of the band’s back catalog after this.

Next up, Fall Out Boy! Although, before the entrance of the punk rockers, the sky opened up and it began pouring. Didn’t matter. the band took stage around 8:00 or so, and blasted out “Phoenix,” followed by “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down.” I couldn’t see the band due to being higher up and blocked behind other folks staying out of the rain, but at one point bassist Pete Wentz’s guitar was lit on fire ala from Mad Max: Fury Road. Next up, the band performed “Irresistible,” followed by “Uma Thurman.”

Pete Wentz addressed the crowd after one of the songs and said how the concert was delayed a year and now it’s pouring, but that show was going to happen no matter what. Band went a little old school with “Grand Theft Autumn/Where is Your Boy,” then got into “Save Rock and Roll,” “The Last of the Real Ones,” “Dance, Dance,” “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’,” and then began the stream of notable hits: “Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms, Race,” “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” (Light Em Up),” “I Don’t Care,” “Thanks fr th Mmrs,” “Centuries,” before finally concluding with “Saturday.”

While I was probably the least familiar with most of their songs, Fall Out Boy definitely felt like a solid transition from Weezer’s geeky rock vibe to Green Day’s punk aesthetic and nature. It was a an incredibly awesome set from the band as the night got darker and prepared for the main event.

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” played and everyone sang along, then the Green Day bunny mascot drank and had fun on stage to The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Then the band arrived on stage and brought the crowd to their feet, blasting out “American Idiot.” The audience was so lively at the introduction, it almost felt like Citizen’s Bank was shaking! Front man Billie Joe Armstrong got the crowd to sing along to his very famous “Heeeeeeey-o’s” and told everyone to keep their phones away, as it’s been the thing we’ve been doing for the past year and a half (looking at our phones, that is). I of course, didn’t do that, as I took many pictures and videos throughout the whole show, but I did not film one song in its entirety, at least.

Anyway, staying with the American Idiot album singles, the boys busted out “Holiday,” then followed that with 21st Century Breakdown’s “Know Your Enemy.” They slowed it down a little with a new song, “Pollyanna” and moved onto “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” after that. People in the crowd put their phone flashlights on to act as lighters, and the stadium looked pretty magnificent at this moment.

Once that wrapped, Billie Joe got his old school guitar, “Blue” and we were treated to Mike Dirnt’s thumping bassline for “Longview”, immediately followed by “Welcome to Paradise”, and “Hitchin’ a Ride”. Shifting gears to a cover song, Green Day played “Rock and Roll All Nite,” Kiss’ arena anthem. Going back a couple of decades, we got “Brain Stew,” with a quick jump into American Idiot’s “St. Jimmy.” The slower paced “21 Guns” preceded some debauchery, with the band stating wanting to be a “Minority (with the band getting introduced during a long solo)” and then covering Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge” with Billie Joe asked a fan to come up, play a few riffs (if they knew how), then stage dive off at the end.

Heading back to ’94’s Dookie, “Basket Case” and “She” got blasted out into the night sky, followed by the serene “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Billie Joe got sentimental with “Still Breathing” before launching into the nearly 10-minute epic, “Jesus of Suburbia.” The stage went dark, and then only Billie Joe played, concluding the show with an appropriate “Time of Your Life (Good Riddance).” The band came out to bow for us all, as fireworks lit up the night sky. The Hella Mega Tour in Citizens Bank, Philadelphia, was over, and my 2019 Christmas present from my lovely wife was completely cashed in nearly two years later.

Wow. I have seen Green Day (including this recent performance) three times, and they never cease to amaze me. They never seem to give a less than stellar performance. That being said, I didn’t get the crazy band antics I’m used to (namely running around from stage left to stage right while playing) but then again, the last time I saw these guys was probably a good decade ago, and they are pushing 50 at this point. In any case, they still dominated and did a pretty freaking amazing show. I also enjoyed how they stuck to playing more popular songs, as I’ve felt that their quality has been somewhat lacking since 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown.

All in all, The Hell Mega Tour was legendary, and definitely something I am so happy I got to witness, as it feels like one of those events that doesn’t happen so often, and if you get the chance to go, you better to do it. Weezer, Fall Out Boy, and Green Day together rocked Philadelphia hard. I wish I could go back and do it all again, rain and all. What an amazing night.

Thanks for the memories.

For tickets to the Hella Mega Tour ticket in your area, click here.


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