There are a couple of things I know for sure:
First of all, my younger brother dropped by last Sunday for a visit, and we spent a couple of hours playing various iterations of Guitar Hero. He sang and I played guitar. To his credit, he was actually singing, while I was flapping away in my cyber-pantomime way on my "guitar-controller." When we were done, we both felt as if we had been put through a wringer. We wondered aloud how anybody could do that for a living.
Second, I know that Billie Joe Armstrong is younger than I am, but he still managed to run and jump and sing and play a real guitar for more than two hours on Tuesday night. Part cheerleader, part ringmaster, part clown and all musician, he drove the Green Day show I saw in San Jose like he hoped the wheels might just pop off. I still don't know how he was able to keep up the pace and never miss a note or a cue. Maybe it's the ten years I've got on Billie Joe, but he made it look easy. He made the correct career choice.
Then there was the matter of the lights and pyrotechnics. I know that at some point it became fashionable to eschew the smudge pots and lasers to "focus on the music." I went to an Electric Light Orchestra show way back when, and I know that there was a time when stagecraft overwhelmed what was actually happening on stage. But there has to be a way to put on a show without getting all Spinal Tap about it. What if you could get the spaceship to land right where you wanted it and still hit that high note? I am here to tell you that, through the smoke and flames and flashing lights, Green Day delivered.
Tre Cool pounded maniacally, and Mike Dirnt disciplined his bass, while three other musicians kept the ball in the air as Mister Armstrong worked himself and the rest of us into a frenzy. It was a rock and roll show that threatened to blow the roof right off the Shark Tank. After all, as we were reminded early in the evening, we weren't there to watch hockey. We were there for the spectacle. And I'm still tired.