Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer have been bringing rock music back around the country for the past month, and finally made it to California over the weekend. The Hella Mega Tour set out to deliver a big rock show with some of the genre’s biggest bands to some of the biggest stadiums across the country, and that is exactly what it did.
California ska punk band The Interrupters started out the night with a set full of energy and of course, some ska dancing. The grammy-decorated Weezer started playing before the sun even set, but that was no bother for leather-jacketed frontman Rivers Cuomo or the hoards of fans around the stadium sporting their favorite Weezer t-shirts. Weezer delivered a solid performance and sought audience attention by adding in kitschy references, like changing the lyrics to “Beverly Hills” to “livin’ in San Diego”. Although it cannot possibly be their favorite song to play, the band wound down their part of the show with their cover of “Africa” by Toto, which had thrown them back into the spotlight over the last few years.
Pop punk royalty Fall Out Boy took the stage next, and dominated it with a truly stunning performance. The band pulled out all of the stops, including confetti and even outfitting bassist Pete Wentz’s instrument to shoot fire out of the top. The setlist was crafted with all of the quintessential career spanning hits, bouncing from emo national anthem “Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy” to power ballad “Save Rock and Roll” to last single “Last of the Real Ones”.
Halfway through their set Pete Wentz posed the question, “Do the kids still like rock music?” and it was clear from the roaring nearly full stadium that the answer was yes. Almost every generation was represented in the energetic crowd, and you could even catch a boomer in the front row screaming along to every single lyric. With a great combination of musicianship, hit anthems, and confidence to venture into pop while keeping it punk, there is a strong argument to be made that Fall Out Boy is carrying the torch for saving rock and roll.
When Green Day took the stage, there was no questioning which band was the crowd favorite. Running up to stand on top of a speaker, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong shouted the opening lines to “American Idiot” and absolutely lit up the crowd. Without missing a beat, the band powered through a 21 song high energy set.
The 2021 version of Green Day is well suited and completely comfortable crushing through the hits in a stadium show with carefully prepared crowd exchanges, surprisingly. Maybe it is the politically-charged lyrics that are more understandable now than ever, maybe it is the fact that people love an old-fashioned rock show. Whatever the secret is is, Green Day has found it and continues to wow massive crowds, no matter how many times they’ve played “Longview” over the years.
Marking one of the first full stadium tours post-COVID, Hella Mega did not disappoint, from the diehard fans that have been patiently waiting for almost two years since the announcement to those just looking to see a great rock show on a Sunday night. Throughout, there was a tangible sense of excitement and appreciation from both the bands and the fans as if absolutely everyone in the room was at their first concert ever. Everything felt new after a year and a half without live music, a feeling that will (hopefully) never be forced upon us again but made for a truly remarkable night. Check out more photos from the night below!