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Green Day: Bullet In A Bible
Live to the world - from Milton Keynes...
I was recently lucky enough to attend the UK premiere of Green Day's new feature length movie Bullet In A Bible.

Recorded on the
18th and 19th June 2005, at Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England, Bullet In A Bible documents the best songs recorded at those monumental gigs (130,000 people attended both dates), and intersperses the music with insightful individual interviews and footage of the usual Green Day tomfoolery. The result is two hours of pure entertainment.

Anyone who's seen Green Day live will know just
how good they are. They are possibly the most fun anyone can have at a live concert, and are as practised and coherent as a band could possibly be. Their sense of humour and spontaneity is as finely-honed as you could imagine, which comes across in their performances.

Bullet In A Bible captures this
perfectly.
Pros
Masterfully filmed.
Brilliant performances.
Insightful & funny.

Cons
There aren't any.

Comment
Superb documentary. Essential Green Day!
"We're still (rightly) lapping it up. American Idiot is simply an album that defines where we are in history right now, and - even a year after the album's release - it's still as powerful and relevant as ever.
Bullet In A Bible clearly proves that."
"England!"
As a fully-fledged Limey it is no small thrill to experience Green Day strutting their stuff in my country, but for them to choose England to record their biggest headline shows - and release them world-wide as a movie - is as close to nirvana as it could possibly get (no joke intended).

Green Day always treat the crowd as a
friend - they fuck around with them (witness the band going silent after inciting the crowd to chant), involve them in the gig (Green Day always drag fans on-stage and give them instruments), and generally put on the most wonderfully tuneful sing-along shows in the history of punk rock. Bullet In A Bible demonstrates - over it's 14-song running time - Green Day's skill with a large crowd. From the rabble-rousing opener, American Idiot; through the rest of that eponymous album (Jesus of Suburbia, Holiday, Are We The Waiting, St. Jimmy, Wake Me Up When September Ends and Boulevard of Broken Dreams); into the land of past classics (Basket Case of course; Brain Stew, Longview, Hitchin' A Ride, King For A Day, Minority and Good Riddance (Time of Your Life); and the odd cover (Lulu's Shout - surprisingly no We Are The Champions - Green Day's cover of choice these days) we are treated to a unique view of Green Day and their music. And at times it's enough to send a shiver down your spine.

"No man can eat 50 eggs"
Musically and vocally the
performances are blistering. Singer/guitarist Billie-Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool hit the form of their careers for the cameras.

But this movie is not
just about the live music. The interview sections, intercut with the show, work well too. We see the individual members of the band preparing for the show and discussing Green Day past and present; people from the audience excitedly extolling the virtues of being a fan; crew and bystanders even get a look-in from time to time. It's often hilarious (especially the section showing members of the audience playing their favourite Green Day songs on guitar to camera), and sometimes poignant, though thankfully never boring.

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"Am I retarded or am I just overjoyed?"
Green Day totally shine throughout Bullet In A Bible - never dropping a note but always appearing relaxed. This is probably something to do with the fact that they've been playing American Idiot live for over 18 months now, and we're still (rightly) lapping it up. American Idiot is simply an album that defines where we are in history right now, and - even a year after the album's release - it's still as powerful and relevant as ever. Bullet In A Bible clearly proves that.

If I had
any criticisms of Bullet In A Bible it would be for tracks missing, than anything else. Which isn't very fair. Green Day's repertoire spans more than nine studio albums and over fifteen years of songwriting. As much as I would have liked a four-hour Bullet In A Bible: I don't think the bigwigs would have gone for it...

At the premiere of the movie in London one of my friends complained that the interview sections were too jarring (he just wanted the music - no chat), but I disagree: the interviews are
great punctuation to the event itself and add necessary context to the proceedings. Especially Tre Cool dressed as a Mountie... :-)

Hard as it may be to believe: there are still
plenty of people out there who have never seen Green Day live. If you're one of those people: first console yourself for missing the best live act on the planet, then secondly: buy Bullet In A Bible. Not only is it a superb documentary, but it's also the next best thing to seeing them live.
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More About Green Day
Green Day comprises of childhood friends Billie Joe Armstrong (guitars, vocals), Mike Dirnt (bass) and Tre Cool (drums). The band came together in California when Armstrong and Dirnt formed a band named Sweet Children while in their teens. When drummer Al Sobrante was added to the line-up in 1989: Green Day was formed - though Tre Cool became the band's permanent drummer after the release of their first LP and after Sobrante decided to go to college.

Official website: http://www.greenday.com/

Discography
1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours - Released: 1990
Kerplunk! - Released: January, 1992
Dookie - Released: February, 1994
Insomniac - Released: October, 1995
Nimrod - Released: October, 1997
Warning - Released: October, 2000
International Superhits - Released: November, 2001
Shenanigans - Released: July, 2002
American Idiot - Released: September, 2004
Bullet In A Bible Track Listing
1. American Idiot
2. Jesus of Suburbia
    I. Jesus of Suburbia
    II. City of the Damned
    III. I Don't Care
    IV. Dearly Beloved
    V. Tales Of Another Broken Home
3. Holiday
4. Are We the Waiting
5. St. Jimmy
6. Longview
7. Hitchin' A Ride
8. Brain Stew
9. Basket Case
10. King For A Day / Shout
11. Wake Me Up When September Ends
12. Minority
13. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
14. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
TWO CD SET...
Disc one: audio CD
Disc two: DVD movie with photo gallery
Click to read full review...
Review © 2005 Paul Mallinson
Green Day Bullet In A Bible
Product: Live LP and DVD movie of the American Idiot tour
Aimed at: Music lovers and punk rock mosh monsters
Label: Warner Reprise    Price: 10.99
Features: Two discs. Disc one a 14-track audio CD, and disc two a two-hour documentary movie. The DVD also features a photo gallery with a 'karaoke' (ie. non-vocal) version of Boulevard of Broken Dreams. At just over ten pounds this two-disc pack is incredible value for money!
RATING: 95 out of 100
Good places to buy Bullet In A Bible :
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ http://www.play.com/
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