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Listening to Green Day and Realizing They’re Old Like Me

So a funny thing happened the other day. I purchased tickets to the upcoming Green Day concert near me for my 11 year old son and I. He has been enjoying listening to Punk Pop bands (started with Fall Out Boy and started working into ‘older’ material) so it’s been awesome introducing him to some of the stuff I listened to when I was, quite literally, his age. I was 11 when Dookie was released back in 1994 and it was one of the first two CDs I ever owned for myself (the other being Weezer’s Blue album).

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But as I’ve listened to the progression of the lyrics, I’ve realized how much both the band and I have grown in the subsequent 23 years. I also realized that it has been 23 years since Dookie came out and that alone gave me pause. So as I’m listening to their newest release, Revolution Radio, the very first song tells me that they realize it too. “Somewhere Now” opens with this verse:

I’m running late to somewhere now
That I don’t want to be
Where the future and promises
Ain’t what it used to be
I never wanted to compromise
Or bargain with my soul
How did a life on the wild side
Ever get so dull?

This coming from a band that I connected with as an angsty pre-teen for lyrics like this from “Having A Blast” on Dookie:

I’m taking all you down with me
Explosives duct taped to my spine
Nothing’s gonna change my mind
I won’t listen to anyone’s last words
There’s nothing left for you to say
Soon you’ll be dead anyway

Notice the subtle difference in tone and desired intention? It may be a little hard to miss but it’s there if you look deep enough. Granted, I felt in some ways similar to the way I’m feeling now after their 2009 release of 21st Century Breakdown… but that was more of the “man, Green Day and I are getting old” whereas Revolution Radio is in full-on, “we’re old and we realize it” mode.

All that being said, I’m totally excited for taking my son to see them live in March. Truth be told, even though I’ve been a fan for 20+ years I have never had the chance to see them myself! So, old or not, I’m ready to rock with them. It’s made me wonder if this is a normal progression for bands that last as long as this one. When did Baby Boomers realize how old the Rolling Stones were becoming? Does anyone else out there have a similar experience with a band?

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