The Saints Are Coming

I’m a big Green Day fan, which may surprise you a little if you’ve been reading along here. It seems like all I do is U2, but that’s not strictly true. If I were to estimate, I’d guess that probably 85% of what I listen to is U2. The rest spreads out over a variety of bands, and changes over time. For example, right now I’m on an Arcade Fire kick, I’ve been listening to them a lot the past few weeks, but a couple of months ago very little. And in another couple of months, they’ll probably have been replaced by someone else. I tend to focus on a band for a while, then move onto something else, whatever takes my fancy. Except U2 of course. Right now I have about 20 different bands in iTunes. Each of them has taken up my time over the years, but of them all, probably only Smashing Pumpkins and Talking Heads would be higher on my list than Green Day. And as I’ve said before, I’d rather listen to some of the worst U2 than some of the best of anything else.

But Green Day, wow. They’re supposedly a punk band, and they look like it, but their music is really interesting, not just bang your head against the wall stuff, and they throw in a mix of politics and this and that. Sound like anyone we know? So for them to team up with U2 for The Saints Are Coming, I was really happy about that. I did not know that this was a song that someone else had written (a band called the Skids), and U2 and Green Day had adapted it.

I knew all about Hurricane Katrina of course, and Rita which followed, but has largely been forgotten. We had family come stay with us for a time during and after Rita, as they were evacuated from the region. Yeah, that was my contribution, apart from buying the Saints CD. Oh, and I did make a donation to Music Rising, but that’s for another time.

So you’ve probably seen the video, which frankly was an incredible satire, and a deeply shameful jab at the United States. The idea to flip the script, to have the military coming back and rescuing people, instead of the pathetic actions they did take during Katrina, was a really good idea. The video was well-executed, and the people who should have watched it and cringed probably never knew it existed.

On the other hand, the performance at the Superdome was great too. When football returned to Louisiana, U2 and Green Day went there and played a short set, one U2 song, one Green Day song and Saints in the middle. It was really well done, to have Edge sit in with Green Day and play When September Ends with them, then the two bands combine for Saints, then U2 end with Beautiful Day. It had excitement and energy. The idea of the two bands getting together again is interesting, but I doubt it will ever happen. Lightning doesn’t strike twice.

My rating for The Saints Are Coming: 7 / 10