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Opener: Jimmy Eat World
"With American Idiot, it was like, 'Well, let's go for it, and either we'll end up in stadiums or go back to the drawing board,'" says Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt. The drawing board will have to wait: Thanks to the band's career-milestone success (the album has sold more than 3.5 million copies so far), Green Day's summer tour will peak in massive venues like Gaints Standium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, while also including arena and amphitheater dates. "We are just gonna try to take the same show we have and make it bigger," says Dirnt. "Obviously it will be more of a big rock show, with smoke and mirrors and lights. But no matter how big the show is, we try to break it down and make it intimate."
Like the Who blasting through Tommy in 1969, Green Day have been playing American Idiot in its entirety at select shows – and the news songs are at laeast as well-received as any of their old hits. "I think right now is really the payoff for us," says Dirnt. "We're going out and reconnecting with our fans and getting to see how people really know the record. You can tell by the way people sing along what this record means to them – and that just comes full circle to what it means to us." Dirnt's one regret: "I'll never see my own band live. But I've heard it's a really good fucking time."
This story appeared in the June 30, 2005 issue of Rolling Stone.
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