SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on September 26, 2006 at 12:02 pm

Green Day photoPre-game and half time performances at major sporting events are usually quite lame. They usually signify a good time to use the bathroom, get more food/drink or talk to the others in the room. Last night, though, when U2 and Green Day performed together on the pre-game show of Monday Night Football, it was actually pretty good.

For starters, the Saints/Falcons game was a far more emotional and significant sporting event than most. It was the first professional game played at the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina severely damaged it last year and the structure was turned into a shelter for tens of thousands of displaced locals. Then, the song choices were quite fitting. Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” opened the set and took on new meaning. An updated snippet of “House of the Rising Sun” transitioned into a cover of the 1978 punk single “The Saints Are Coming” by the Scottish band The Skids (one of their members went on to form Big Country in the early 80s). The song is a triumphant rally cry that felt just right for The Saints return to their home stadium.

(Here’s a link to an MP3 of the original version of “The Saints Are Coming”)

Bono and Billie Joe Armstrong worked the crowd by adding some event-appropriate lyrics to the cover song, before ending with the obvious but effective “Beautiful Day.” U2’s cheesy anthem was certainly the safest and easiest choice of the set, but it rang true. It was a beautiful day and night inside the Superdome, especially since the home team clobbered the favored Falcons. And U2 and Green Day delivered one of the better major sporting event performances I’ve ever seen.



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