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A Not So Silent Night, live at The Oracle Arena, Oakland

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

The second night of Live 105’s 2016 sold-out “Not So Silent Night” concerts at Oakland’s Oracle Arena was an absolute BLAST and it definitely lived up to the name of the Modern Rock Radio station’s annual end of year celebration. Not too many Christmas hymns going down tonight! Green Day’s last set of the night was absolutely off-the-hook but there were so many other highlights and BAM’s Cheryl Alterman is happy to share some of the best.

The Live 105 “Not So Silent Night” (NNSN) kicked off for me with K-Flay, a 31 year old girl from Illinois that has an interestingly haunting, unexplainably entertaining and very listenable voice. Rapping, singing, and talented. Then Catfish and the Bottlemen were supposed to perform but at the last minute cancelled. In their place Day Wave played. It was too bad, because I was looking forward to Catfish. They’re a band from Britain, and won the British Breakthrough Act of 2016. Arctic Monkeys meets the Kooks with Ramones undertones…super disappointed about their absence. After K-Flay, brought the show to Phantogram. Ok, mildly entertaining. Lead female with great look, cool style…good. Then The Head and the Heart…an Indie folk band from Seattle. A very talented six piece band including an electric fiddle player, and an excellent lead vocalist, Josiah Johnson.

After Head and the Heart, Bastille hit the stage…An award winning British indie pop band. Bastille was phenomenal. They had the arena crazy! Lead singer Dan Smith had an energy reminiscent of Iggy Pop. Not remaining still for more than a second. And all the musicians were top notch. Really great energy…Smith went into the audience soon after hitting the stage…connected with the fans, sang many of their hits…Fantastic! Winning the best breakthrough act at the Brit awards in 2014…Bastille was truly superb! I would go to see them again. They brought the fans to a height of excitement! All bands before Green Day played about 30 minutes each. Timed impeccably, and very well organized. Bastille was the perfect choice as lead up to the headliner.And then, the murmer of excitement was felt by all…Green Day enters at 10.25.

Firstly, I must admit…Green Day is, and always has been one of my favorite bands ever. Love Love love them! So, I’m a bit partial. They opened with American Idiot, moving into Holiday. The energy, that Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre bring to the stage is something special and rare. Springsteen has it, Vedder has it, Peter Hook, Franti and few others. Its a way of connecting with fans that many don’t have naturally. Not just simply performing music. Going beyond. But Green Day are definitely not short of it ever! It was very apparent that this was their home and their roots. Billie Joe spoke of this East Bay community as his ‘hood’. He talked about the artists lost in the Ghost Ship Building and how we need places for artists and people to live affordably in this area. Surprisingly he did not comment on Presidential politics and the election.

They performed Bang Bang, Boulevard, Long View, Young Blood, Hitchen a Ride and Brainstew. Then in true Green Day fashion, Billie Joe asks if there are any kids out there that play guitar and know the songs…..A young boy was selected and came to the stage and was adorned with a guitar and shredded his way thru his time on stage, complete with vocals, culminating in Billy Joe bowing to him…the kid looked like he was around 14 years old and he totally pulled it off. He wasn’t shy and played with each band member… In the end…he was told he gets to keep the guitar! I personally love that about GD…I saw them in 2005 in Brighton England and they did the same thing. Very impressive indeed. I’ll never forget…that fan chosen was 16 years old, and after the song and he was told he gets to keep the guitar…then Billie Joe added, “you’re getting laid tonight” and of course, the kid had a smile from ear to ear, as this boy did as well…along with just about everyone coming out of the venue…it was so apparent that they all had a good time, including me. I got out of a sick bed to go. But for Green Day…I would have crawled there with two broken legs! The 65 minute Green Day set was so insanely good, and positively energizing to us all. Ending with Minority. Altho I was surprised at the short set. I didn’t for one minute feel cheated. Green Day gives their all when they are onstage! And thats what its all about. I’ve been to many gigs where the performers give a full 2 plus hours, and they don’t ‘give’ half as much as Green Day can in half the time! Green Day are true connectors, true lovers of community and give good value, no matter how long the set. Cannot wait till their next gig!!

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