Live: HELLA MEGA TOUR // Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
The Hella Mega Tour featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer with support from The Interrupters blasted their way through Minneapolis last week.
Originally planned for Summer 2020, many concertgoers in attendance had been holding onto their tickets since late 2019. As one of the most highly anticipated shows of 2021, Hella Mega Tour felt like a marker of change, a true return to live music. There was a palpable shift in energy as Target Field filled with loyal fans. Despite some hesitation at the lack of pandemic screening procedures, any anxiety faded away as the performances began.
The Interrupters warmed up the stadium first in the blazing afternoon sun. Lead singer Aimee Allen floated onto the stage, beaming to the crowd. Immediately capturing the attention of a crowd slowly arriving, The Interrupters bounded and jumped their way through an amazing set. One highlight saw the band covering Billie Eilish hit bad guy, a clever tactic for a group whose music may be unknown to some in attendance.
On such a stacked lineup, it’s often expected that the openers could be forgettable. However, this was not the case. The Interrupters and their genuine joy and enthusiasm on stage was infectious, building momentum for the acts to come.
Weezer followed after an impressive stage reveal. Adorned with an overabundance of pink, blue and purple amps and massive lightning bolts, the group immediately made a visual impact. Frontman Rivers Cuomo effortlessly delivered hit after hit from the veteran performers, comically exaggerating certain movements and playing into their carefree vibes. After losing some momentum in the middle of their set, Weezer brought it back around in the last half with their hits Island In The Sun, the band’s popular cover of Toto’s Africa, Say It Ain’t So, finally ending with Buddy Holly.
Weezer’s set was well-placed in the late afternoon time slot, of all the bands it seemed as though they took themselves the least seriously. They were there for a good time and to put on a good performance. They delivered.
The mood shifted as the stage was prepared for Fall Out Boy’s appearance. A dark, haunting, forest-like stage framing replaced Weezer’s technicolor landscape. Following a Twilight Zone-inspired address from actor Ron Livingston, Fall Out Boy took the stage. Fall Out Boy immediately impressed with their energy and charisma. Opening song The Phoenix off of the band’s 2013 album Save Rock And Roll rang out as bassist Pete Wentz worked the crowd, spraying his flamethrower-fitted bass into the evening sky. The pyrotechnics continued throughout the set, proving most effective during hit song My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up).
Perhaps most impressive during the FOB set was Patrick Stump’s vocal delivery. Stump’s clarity and strength throughout the band’s 15-song set was impeccable and unwavering. To be able to deliver a consistent and articulate performance in a stadium setting, especially when the catalog of Fall Out Boy’s songs demand a lot vocally, was absolutely astounding.
The flames were quickly swapped for fireworks when headliners Green Day finally arrived. After an enthusiastic fan singalong of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, videos of past Green Day shows introduced the band to the crowd. This demonstration drew attention to the group’s impact and influence in the history of punk rock music. Due to their mainstream appeal, it is easy to forget just how groundbreaking they were, and still are. It is quite an achievement to have such a dedicated and loyal fanbase after years of releases, touring and fair share of controversies.
Green Day hit the ground running with three of their heaviest hitting songs, American Idiot, Holiday and Know Your Enemy. Their 21-song set saw the band absolutely ripping through each song. Despite frontman Billie Joe Armstrong encouraging fans to abstain from using their phones, it seemed like everyone couldn’t help but try to capture the moment, not wanting the concert to slip away. Highlights included Green Day maintaining their tradition of bringing a fan to play on stage with them during Knowledge and a magical performance of Wake Me Up When September Ends toward the end of the night.
As the final notes of final song Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) reverberated into the night air, a sense of satisfaction and calm settled over the crowd. It’s not often that one is treated to four stellar performances over the course of 5-6 hours. Hella Mega Tour is a feat of modern concert organization and impeccable musical pairings. It’s not likely we’ll see another such performance curation anytime soon.
Photos: Morgan Winston