Green Day tribute band set to rock the house at Winston’s
by Bart Mendoza
Published - 06/26/13 - 02:12 PM | 8616 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Green Today, a tribute band to the long-lived Green Day act, is set to perform at Winston’s Beach Club on Saturday, June 29.                                                                        Courtesy photo
Green Today, a tribute band to the long-lived Green Day act, is set to perform at Winston’s Beach Club on Saturday, June 29. Courtesy photo
Though originally just a scruffy punk-rock combo from the Bay Area, after more than 20 years of hit albums, its clear Green Day has become an indelible part of American pop culture. It has most recently been seen in the touring Broadway production of the musical “American Idiot,” based on the band’s 2004 album of the same name. Tribute band Green Today has launched into the tribute-band circuit, playing the same size venues as their musical doppelgangers during Green Day’s pre-superstardom days.

Appearing at Winston’s Beach Club on June 29, Green Today is based in Orange County. Together for just under two years, the tribute band includes bassist Jim Scarlett (Mike Dirnt), drummer Tom Varga (Tre Cool), guitarists Kevini Tapia (Jason White) and Brian Wedmore (Billie Joe Armstrong).

“Brian and I have known each other playing in punk bands in the area since about 2000,” Scarlett said. “With tribute projects on the rise in 2010, we discussed the idea of a Green Day tribute based on the fact that we both really liked the band, wanted to start something that we could establish and build, and thought we could pull it off.”

He acknowledges that Green Day has been a big influence on his music.

“Personally, being a stage musician for so many years, I’ve always thought how cool it would be to play with a huge band like that. Understanding that to be unlikely, this seemed like another option,” Scarlett said.

Unlike many tribute bands, Green Today replicates their namesakes’ look, as well as sound.

“We knew a lot of the top tribute projects that were successful — like No Duh, The Red Not Chili Peppers and Nearvana — also incorporated the look,” Scarlett said. “So we made this a focus as well.”

While he considers the band’s focus to be on the music, he notes that members of Green Today share some of the same physical characteristics of Green Day.

“The most difficult thing for me is that I cannot grow sideburns (like Dirnt), so I’m a long ways away, but I give it a shot,” Scarlett joked.

The band has a repertoire that includes all the hits from “Basket Case” to “American Idiot.”

“Most sets are about 60 minutes for some festivals and other events where we play up three hours,” Scarlett said.

After dozens of shows, Scarlett said he is as enthused as ever about Green Today. Almost.

“Because it’s a tribute band project and there are expectations, it has turned into quite a bit of work,” Scarlett said. “But overall, it’s a great time. All of us enjoy being on stage and playing, so we appreciate the opportunity to play for larger crowds, which usually takes more time and luck when playing with an original project.

“The best thing about being in Green Today is the opportunity to be on stage in front of people who are into it, singing along and connecting with them. Green Day is so good and has built up such a fanbase, that it seems if we even come close (to their sound) and put as much as we can into the show, people have a good time,” he said.

Green Today has performed before crowds of up to 5,000 people, regularly playing dates in the 1,000 range.

“We are playing more out of state and different types of events, so we’re looking forward to the opportunity to play to more people, in different areas,” Scarlett said.

According to Scarlett, the fan response at shows has been pretty good.

“Most of the people at our shows know what to expect and we seem to deliver it pretty well,” he said. “Most of the time we are playing on a night of tribute acts, so people attending know the songs. We get the occasional negative comments and people criticizing but we have fun with it. We know we’re not Green Day. I kind of like to think of it as we’re just fans too, just having fun with songs we all like.”

• Green Today performs at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 29 at Winston’s Beach Club, 1921 Bacon St. $5. 21 and up.

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