By terri sapp
Ever since I heard “Dookie” back in 1994, I have had a respect for Green Day that has been set in stone with their latest release, “Bullet in a Bible.” This set comes with a fantastic live album, as well as a DVD with a video of the biggest Green Day tour, to date. A total of over 130,000 Londoners were the luckiest to have been privy to the two in a row sold out shows that led to “Bullet in a Bible” in June 2005 at Milton Keynes National Bowl in England. For sure, the peak of the tour in support of “American Idiot!” Billie Joe Armstrong (lead vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass, vocals), and madman Tre’ Cool (drums, vocals) stepped up to the plate as one of the best punk/rock bands of our generation with this representation of their onstage energy and flawless talent. Weather or not you have ever seen Green Day perform live, their production of “Bullet in a Bible” transcends the lack of intimacy that usually comes from watching live concert video recordings. These guys have such a strong presence that they command their audience, even from the comfort of your living room couch or favorite chair.
Contrary to popular belief, “American Idiot” is not anti-American. Along the same vein, “Bullet in a Bible” is not sacrilegious. When I first saw that Green Day had finally put out a live CD/DVD, I knew it would be huge. Then, when I saw that it was named “Bullet in a Bible,” I knew it would be deep and meaningful somehow. I suspected that some, more sensitive folk would get their panties in a ruffle thinking (without even looking deeper) that “Bullet in a Bible” was somehow an anti-church type of thing. Upon watching the DVD portion, I found from the snippets that are intertwined in the concert that the image of the bullet in a bible actually came from a war museum visited by the band, wherein a bullet was actually lodged in a bible from a past war. These guys are really clever, and have brilliant minds for marketing from the surface and deep down. Previously, I thought that only bands as inspired as The Who (and mixed with the power of the “old days”) could pull off a rock opera, much less a Punk Rock Opera! Not only did Armstrong, Dirnt, and Cool record the best anti-war punk rock opera, they executed it with the ease of true thespians trained for the stage!
I have heard complaints from some about the speedy camera angles and extreme editing and directing of the DVD. However, no one can say that this DVD is ever boring or lacking spectacle. The whole DVD has an artistic feel anyway, which leads me to believe that the directors and artists intended it to be more than just a straight video recording of the concert. Of course, such a top notch live Green Day CD as “Bullet in a Bible” for your collection is nothing to sneeze at either. The set list includes a nice balance from Green Day’s most notable accomplishment, “American Idiot,” and our favorites from throughout the years. Specifically: American Idiot; Jesus of Suburbia, I Jesus of Suburbia, II City of the Damned, III Don’t Care, IV Dearly Beloved, V Tales of Another Broken Home; Holiday; Are we the Waiting; St. Jimmy; Longview; Hitchin’ a Ride; Brain Stew; Basket Case; King for a Day/Shout!; Wake Me Up When September Ends; Minority; Boulevard of Broken Dreams; and an acoustically touching Billie Joe solo rendition of Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).
“Bullet in a Bible” is a great representation of the greatness that Green Day has become, and a must have for any Green Day fan. I believe that even someone who isn’t necessarily into Green Day could appreciate this CD/DVD set for its pure entertainment value. FABULOUS!