The 40 greatest concerts in Boston history: 6

Green Day | the Hatch Shell | September 9, 1994
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  October 25, 2006

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Welcome to Paradise: Green Day at the Hatch Shell. By Matt Ashare
Snotty and brilliant: Green Day at the Hatch Shell. By Ted Drozdowski

greenday_poster
Promotional material for Green Day's 1994 Hatch Shell show
In July of 1994, when WFNX and the Phoenix started making inquires about the availability of bands for their free welcome-back-to-school concert at the Hatch Shell and Green Day’s name came up, no one could have predicted how quickly the Bay Area brats would rise to mega-popularity. August saw the band steal the show at Woodstock ’94 with a set that ended with a massive set-ending mud fight that was replayed on MTV ad nauseam over the next couple of weeks alongside the “Longview” and “Basket Case” videos. Dookie was certified platinum by the beginning of September, and on September 9, somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 people showed up at the Esplanade. No one — not the MDC, the state police, the Wizard Security staff, or the Phoenix/FNX folks — was ready for such an enormous, mosh-happy mob or the snotty three-piece who coaxed the crowd to tear down the FNX balloon before plunging into the flower beds and tearing them up in front of the stage. The crowd broke through the barriers and the plug was pulled just 20 minutes into the set. More than 100 people were injured (24 shipped to local hospitals), 31 were arrested, and Green Day went on to become the most successful punk band of all time. As Wizard Security owner Jeff Freedman said at the time, “It was the band, the location, the audience — the total atmosphere. I don’t think it will ever be duplicated.”
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Related: Snotty and brilliant, Green Day | 21st Century Breakdown, Photos: Green Day at TD Garden, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Green Day,  More more >
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