There’s plenty of intersection when it comes to the Venn diagram of Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer, with many of the bands’ fans almost certainly existing in the middle.
Unsurprisingly, then, the three bands’ announcement that they would be embarking together on the “Hella Mega” tour next year made headlines and stoked excitement among listeners who grew up with their music .
Before tickets go on sale Sept. 20, revisit the each band’s respective greatest hits over the years.
Weezer – “In the Garage”
To this day, Weezer has never quite been able to shake off the influence of their first two albums: 1994’s self-titled debut (commonly referred to as “The Blue Album”) and 1996’s “Pinkerton.” Both are beloved as classics by fans and critics to a level that they haven’t been able to match over their following two decades of releases. “In the Garage” helped establish this mythology that has loomed so large over the rest of their career, a simple, self-consciously pristine example of rock songwriting.
Green Day – “Longview”
“Longview” endures today as a mission statement of young adult ennui, channeling the mundane, unglamorous process of becoming an adult when the world has nothing to offer you, and vice versa, the song’s plodding baseline periodically exploding into its dirtbag chorus.
Fall Out Boy – “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy”
A near-perfect pop-punk song from the band’s 2003 debut album “Take This to Your Grave,” “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy” is the ideal place to start when looking at Fall Out Boy’s rock legacy. For fans more attuned to FOB’s pop-punk era than the arena rock albums that followed, “Grand Theft Autumn” may be the best song the band has ever made.
Weezer – “Say It Ain’t So”
Rivers Cuomo, Weezer’s frontman, was famously obsessed with Nirvana as a young artist, and particularly, with writing a song as good as “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” And while few songs on this list – and just in general – dare to match Kurt Cobain’s enduring classic, “Say It Ain’t So” could be called Weezer’s equivalent, a staggering achievement of rock greatness coming from a such a young group.
Green Day, “When I Come Around”
Forget “Good Riddance/Time of Your Life,” the cloying track that lives on as graduation soundtrack music – “When I Come Around” is the true classic, sentimental hit of Green Day’s early years, which vaulted to success as a single thanks to one of the band’s career-best guitar riffs.
Fall Out Boy, “Dance, Dance”
Lead singer Patrick Stump himself said in a 2013 tweet that “Dance, Dance” “is probably the best thing I’ve ever done.” While that statement is debatable, “Dance, Dance” and its better-selling counterpart “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” vaulted Fall Out Boy into a new level of fame with rock and pop listeners alike when their breakthrough second album “From Under the Cork Tree” was released in 2005.
Weezer – “Tired of Sex”
“Pinkerton” endures as the roughest-around-the-edges Weezer album, a reason why it survives as many fans’ favorites despite its at-times ickily personal songwriting and some lyrics that age remarkably poorly since its 1996 release. “Tired of Sex” nails the balance between raw and cringeworthy, its wailing guitars driving home the pain and distress Cuomo wrestles with in the song’s lyrics.
Green Day – “Basket Case”
“Do you have the time to listen to me whine / About nothing and everything all at once?” asks frontman Billie Joe Armstrong on the song’s first line, kicking off a three-minute mental breakdown set to a perfect pop-punk melody. Before the mental health crisis was a frequently-spoken-about concern among young adults today, Armstrong and “Basket Case” offered relief to troubled minds of a previous generation, as he sang about surviving the games his twisted mind played on him.
Fall Out Boy – “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me’”
Another “Cork Tree” highlight, “A Little Less Sixteen Candles” is FOB at their most quotable, with lines like “You’re just the girl all the boys want to dance with / And I’m just the boy who’s had too many chances” and “I set my clocks early ’cause I know I’m always late” that encapsulate the quippy humor and masculine woes that define the band’s lyrics.
Weezer – “El Scorcho”
“El Scorcho” and its opening confession of love to “half-Japanese girls” may sound a little more problematic today than it read in 1996. But this “Pinkerton” highlight still ranks among Weezer’s best, kinda creepy and a little desperate and yet universally relatable in its shouting, pleading confessions of love.
Green Day – “Jesus of Suburbia”
The band’s 2004 album “American Idiot” is a foundational text among a certain generation of rock listeners, and among its many highlights is its essential, nine-minute-long magnum opus “Jesus of Suburbia.” Consisting of five movements and hailed as its own mini-rock opera, the song is overblown at times – such is the case with most rock operas – yet still hits its emotional marks and entertains with enough musical twists to earn it a place on any list of best Green Day songs.
Fall Out Boy – “Thriller”
Not to be confused with FOB’s version of “Beat It” with John Mayer, “Thriller” is an original composition, not another Michael Jackson. It’s perhaps the band’s best album opener in their discography. “Infinity on High” is a fan-favorite FOB album that many of the band’s most dedicated followers see as underrated, and “Thriller” can point uninitiated listeners in the direction of why.
Weezer – “Hash Pipe”
The most commercially enduring gem from Weezer’s second self-titled album, also known as the “Green Album,” may be the schmaltzy “Island in the Sun,” but its real heart comes from “Hash Pipe,” with its chugging guitars and addictive “oh-oh-oh” hook.
Green Day – “Holiday”
An unimpeachably great pop-punk song, also from “American Idiot,” “Holiday” is a hard-driving, fist-pumping, vaguely-political anthem that blasts off once Armstrong gets to the song’s controversial chanted bridge.
Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”
One of the most dopamine-inducing Fall Out Boy songs of the past five years, and definitely the band’s best track that has also been covered by Kidz Bop, the single from the band’s 2015 album “American Beauty/American Psycho” is proof that FOB’s shift towards showy, poppy rock-mutant anthems can still result in quality music from the band.
Weezer – “Run Away”
A wistful Ryan Adams collaboration featuring some of the band’s most gorgeous guitar work, “Run Away” is a diamond in the rough from an album that many Weezer fans have long since forgotten about, 2010’s “Hurley.”
Green Day – “Horseshoes and Handgrenades”
The track from the band’s 2009 release “21st Century Breakdown” comes out of the gate with an extremely Green Day opening line, a shouted “I’m not (expletive) around!” before unfolding as one of the band’s best post-”American Idiot” singles.
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