Personalities | Green Day | Return To Form (2005) | Key Events
Grammy Award For Best Rock Album
At the 47th Grammy Awards held on 13 February in Los Angeles, Green Day not only won Best Rock Album award for American Idiot but had their performance of the title track introduced by acclaimed film director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino paid the band the ultimate compliment, stating that they had ‘released a concept album with a very novel concept: all the songs are good.’ The band lost out on Best Song for ‘American Idiot’ and Best Album to the late Ray Charles who had sadly passed away the previous year.
American Idiot catapulted Green Day to the top of the rock pecking order with mass coverage and interviews in publications from NME, Q, Rolling Stone and Spin to Time. Every MTV operation in the world threw awards at them, including MTV Europe. At the awards ceremony in Lisbon they performed ‘Holiday’ and won Best Album and Best Rock Band, beating off stiff competition from U2, Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand and the not-so-stiff Coldplay. The band won around 41 awards in 2005, including Kerrang!’s Best Live Band and also their Best Band On The Planet award.
‘It started with the basis of the story [of American Idiot] is three main characters. It takes place in this heightened political time and it’s an emotional roller coaster,’ Mike stated at the opening of Green Day’s VH1 Storytellers’ performance, broadcast in April. The band was interviewed prior to performing American Idiot live, giving insight into the genesis of their punk-rock opera. ‘There is a conscious thing throughout the record,’ Mike continued, ‘and that it is speaking from an individual standpoint. It is not pointing fingers necessarily. It is direct though.’
American Idiot World Tour
The American Idiot world tour kicked off with warm-up club dates like Bochum, Germany, on 1 October 2004. By the final gig on 17 December 2005 at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Australia, the band had performed around 154 shows to audiences of up to 65,000. With a massive lighting rig, video screens, additional musicians and pyrotechnics, the band paraded through American Idiot and past glories like ‘Basket Case’, ‘Minority’, ‘Longview’ and ‘Brain Stew’, as well as diverse cover versions including Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’, The Clash’s ‘I Fought The Law’ and The Isley Brothers’ ‘Shout’.
‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’
The ballad ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ was one of the most memorable songs on American Idiot and was released as the fourth single from the album in June 2005. The extended video, directed by Samuel Bayer, told the story of young American love. A couple’s idyllic relationship is threatened when the boy joins the army to protect his girlfriend and his country. Scenes of Green Day performing the song are almost secondary to combat images in Iraq, interspersed with scenes of the girlfriend at home fearful for her lover’s life...
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