Photos and Review by Jeff Lasich
Some say that PNC Park is the best stadium to watch a baseball game in. A sold out crowd of 30,000+ packed the stadium on August 19, 2021 not for a ball game, but rather to see the tour of the summer- Hella Mega featuring Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Green Day. With the backdrop of the Pittsburgh skyline hanging behind the stage, the show was started by The Interrupters. Coming from LA, bring a blend of ska and punk, reminiscent of the bands you all loved in the 90s. The front woman of the band, Aimee Interrupter seemed to be having the time of her life. Smiling and bouncing all over the stage, she interacted with a very receptive crowd. It’s a shame they had to play so early in the night, as people were still filing into the stadium during their set. I’m sure they made some new fans, and if you missed them make sure to catch them the next time they come around.
Up next was Weezer. On the heels of their new record, Van Weezer, the stage was a colorful stack of Marshall cabinets and bass drums that really captured that stadium rock look. Not to be outdone by the stage setup, Rivers Coumo came out in a studded leather jacket, shady mustache, Flying V and an epic mullet. The pandemic has strange effects on people. The crowd was fired up and Weezer did not disappoint. They played well over a dozen songs, stretching across their discography. The crowd ate up the line “I asked you to go to the Green Day concert” in El Schorcho.” It was a nice sunny day, until around halfway through Weezer’s set. The sky got dark and opened up, almost on cue to their cover of Africa. The rain got heavier and steadier as the set went on, but it wasn’t enough to scare anyone away.
The rain continued as the stage was set for Fall Out Boy. This was going to be my first time seeing them and I knew all the hits. On a side note, Petey Wentz once played the legendary Pittsburgh DIY venue, The Mr. Roboto Project with his old band, Arma Angelus, around 2000. This was their first time playing Pittsburgh in several years and worth the wait. FOB opened with “The Phoenix” featuring Wentz’s flamethrower bass and then they went into “Sugar We’re Going Down”. There was a lot of pyro, fire and spaced out videos on the stage. The boys from Chicago played “Dance, Dance”, “Uma Thurman”, “Centuries” and around 9 other songs before closing out the set with Saturday.
As is custom, prior to Green Day hitting the stage, there was a giant singalong to Bohemian Rhapsody followed by “Blitzkrieg Bop” lead by a giant costumed bunny. The rabbit was escorted from the stage and Green Day stormed it. This was surreal for me. I was a huge Green Day fan when I was in high school and I last saw them play a club with around 500 capacity in 1994. Now they were headlining a stadium in front of 30k strong. The band opened with American Idiot before transitioning into another song from the same records, Holiday. Early in the set, Billie Joe asked the crowd to put their cellphones away since so much time was spent staring at them during the past year. As true performer, BJ knows how to work a crowd. Mike Dirnt played his bass with the same kind of passion you would have seen 30 years ago. Tre Cool was well Tre cool. I had moved across the stadium mid-set to take everything in. They were playing Welcome to Paradise. Hearing the entire stadium singing the chorus was something I’ll never forget. I know Green Day has been around forever, they are in the rock and roll hall of fame and your grandmother probably knows When I Come Around, but at that moment I was so proud of them and all they accomplished. As usual, they did a cover of Knowledge, bringing someone on stage to play the guitar parts. The 16 year old killed it and then left the stage via stage dive. The band ended the night with their epic song, Good Riddance. There is no doubt everyone left that show after having the time of their life.