5 Ways the Hella Mega Tour Rocked My Summer

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

Like everyone who snagged tickets to the Hella Mega Tour — a stadium concert starring post-grunge legacy bands including Green Day and Weezer, joined by Fall Out Boy and my current favorite, The Interrupters — I was stoked and charged up. I couldn’t wait for the punk rock/alt rock event of the summer of 2020. 

Fast forward to August 2021, after a year and a half of live-music abstinence, when we finally parked at Citi Field. To say I had developed a renewed appreciation for live music would have been a huge understatement. I felt an excitement not unlike that of my earliest teen years, when going to a large stadium rock show felt decadent and thrilling — and rebellious. 

To some extent it was “rebellious,” although I’m an adult mom who can go where she pleases. I was rebelling against recommendations to stay home, given the delta variant. 

Me and my hubby at Citi Field on 8/4/21 for the Hella Mega Tour.

Nevertheless, savoring the show was so right for so many reasons. Here are 5 ways it charged my depleted spirit in the uncertain summer of 2021, when the U.S. got a “breather” of normalcy before the big Covid whiplash.

1. It took me back to my roots. I grew up listening to rock n’ roll, and was turned onto punk and ska in the late 90s. Unlike other rock genres, there’s an urgency in the pacing — barre chords in quick succession — that I’m drawn to. I’ve loved other artists from other genres, but I’m always 16 when I hear bands like Green Day and The Interrupters. 

2. I saw Weezer for the first time. Somehow I missed seeing Weezer in my youth. It’s not like I didn’t hear “Buddy Holly” on the 99.1 WHFS — the FM radio alt-rock station in Washington, D.C. I did. But I’d never seen Weezer, or Rivers Cuomo, live. He was so badass, strapping on his V-shaped guitar and singing — and he sounded exactly like he always had, age be damned. I sung along to at least half the set — most notably, the cover of Toto’s “Africa.” 

Singing along with Weezer’s version of “Africa” at the Hella Mega Tour stop at Citi Field

3. I realized Green Day only gets better with age. I actually wasn’t a huge Green Day fan in high school. Of all the alternative music I was exposed to, Green Day felt so mainstream compared with, say, The Lunachicks or Murphy’s Law. In my 20s, I would cringe as my ex-boyfriend would play the first three chords for ‘When I Come Around.’ That changed when I saw the band perform live, bringing an unstoppable energy to the stage. Billy Joe Armstrong is a force of nature. 

“Roam” (Trashing Violet) on Spotify

4. I got to sing along to The Interrupters. Doug, the bass player for my band Trashing Violet, who is now a good friend, introduced me to The Interrupters in mid-2019, when were debating cover songs to play. Aimee Interrupter sounded so much like Brody Dalle, but with a touch less angst. I was hooked when I heard “Take Back the Power,” and within months “Kerosene” became my personal theme song. I can’t believe I’d missed the band’s earlier albums, pre-Fight the Good Fight, but to be fair, I was preoccupied with raising toddlers between 2013 and 2018. 

5. the show helped me forget about Covid, even if for a night. This stupid virus isn’t even worthy of capitalization. I hate it so, so much. I hate the fact that we cancelled a show with my friends Shame Penguin because of the delta variant, and I hate that my kids have to wear masks to school to stay safe. So it was nothing short of ecstatic bliss when my vaccinated husband and I wove through the T-shirted, tattooed masses in Citi Field to find our seats. To live again, and relish the pure joy of live rock and roll, felt so good and indulgent. I have never appreciated music more — and I cannot wait to see another summer stadium show soon.

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy. 

2 thoughts on “5 Ways the Hella Mega Tour Rocked My Summer

  1. Great review. My son attended the show and practically felt the same way. The Interupptors happen to be one of my favorite new bands. Kerosene rocks.

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