“Dream Catcher” (Live) – Green Day

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Registration: (None)
Performed: June 16, 2010 in Manchester, England
Album Written For: ¡Uno! / ¡Dos! / ¡Tré!
Writers: Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool

“Dream Catcher” is one of the very few unreleased Green Day songs fans have been able to hear over the band’s 25+ year career. The band normally has their leftover songs under lock and key, so fans have to be content with the songs that are released on their albums. Occasionally, however, Green Day will test out a new song live. “Dream Catcher” is one of those lucky songs.

2010 is when Green Day started getting more generous with their live debuts. This is where “Dream Catcher” comes in.

 

Endless Creativity

After the immense success of American Idiot in 2004 and into the next two years, frontman and principle songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong felt the pressure to live up to that with his next album. He had lots of ideas that fit into three different album themes, but took his time getting back into the swing of things. Green Day took a mini break to flex their creativity, and released a spontaneous album under the moniker of Foxboro Hot Tubes in 2008. That was just the push they needed, and only a year after, Green Day released 21st Century Breakdown on May 15, 2009.

The songwriting inspiration didn’t stop there, though. Even after the album came out, Billie Joe was still churning out songs. In late 2009, bassist Mike Dirnt revealed that Green Day had been writing a lot of songs, and had recorded many demos in studios around the globe as they toured.

In March 2010, Billie Joe also talked about the news songs and how Green Day recorded them while on tour in Europe the previous October. As he told Kerrang:

We did some demos in Berlin, some in Stockholm, some just outside of Glasgow and some in Amsterdam. We wanted get [the songs] down in some early form.

He also spoke to MTV:

It’s just been songwriting right now. Instead of doing it later on, we decided to start doing stuff now. … It’s all back to the basics again. Just getting in a room together and start jamming.

It’s still really early. We’ve got to start translating the songs and explaining the songs, and the next step will be arguing about the songs.

 

Soundcheck in England: “Dream Catcher” is Heard For the First Time

Green Day was on the second European leg of their 21st Century Breakdown World Tour in summer 2010, and getting towards the end of that album’s cycle. Instead of letting everything simmer down to nothingness, Green Day decided to tease fans by playing some of those new songs they’d been working on.

June 16, 2010 was a special day: Green Day was in Manchester, England, and was on the stage doing a soundcheck before the concert. The few lucky fans that happened to already be at the venue were in for a treat, because Green Day played not one, but two new songs right there during soundcheck. One of those was a song called “Dream Catcher.”

They played a rough version of the song, starting with a verse and chorus. At this point they lost their direction a bit and had to sort out their respective parts. Apparently they hadn’t played “Dream Catcher” very many times yet. But after a quick minute, they got back into the groove and finished playing the rest of the song. “Dream Catcher” had a folky, poppy sound, comparable to their songs on Warning but mixed in with the 21st Century Breakdown vibe.

Green Day also played short clip of a song presumably titled “Oh Girl.” This song also had a folky sweet sound.

It was a few days later in Dublin, Ireland when Green Day debuted their third and final new song in a soundcheck. This one was called “Stay The Night,” and went on to be released on ¡Uno! in September 2012.

 

Meant For The Trilogy

By the time Green Day started recording what would become their trilogy of albums in early 2012, they had a lot of songs. By their estimates, they had upwards of 70 new songs, and they’d played quite a few of them over the various secret shows they’d played between August and December 2011.

Throughout the whole trilogy recording process, the trio shared numerous video updates, and, eventually, a full documentary giving an insider look at how they crafted and selected their songs. In these videos, fans can see how painstaking the process was, with Billie Joe and co. writing and rewriting lists of songs. Dozens of songs in all kinds of orders. Most of the songs we see made it onto either ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, or ¡Tré!, but there are a handful of titles floating around that have yet to see the light of day.

Most of these are otherwise unknown songs that fans have very little information on. But one is a special song we’ve heard before:

“Dream Catcher” is on one of the lists we see in the documentary, ¡Cuatro! This confirms that “Dream Catcher” was, at one point, in the running to appear in the trilogy.

Green Day Trilogy Dream Catcher

 

Forgotten Fan Favorite

Alas, “Dream Catcher” didn’t make it onto any of the three records in 2012. It’s in the same boat as “Oh Girl,” except that with the latter fans don’t even know its real name. These are just two of the 35+ songs that are left over from the trilogy writing and recording process. With any luck, someday fans can hear the plethora of unreleased Green Day goodies hiding in their vault. But for now, these are just titles and bootlegs.

“Dream Catcher” has become something of a fan favorite among the Green Day community. Many people have expressed their heartfelt wishes that “Dream Catcher” will someday be released, but for now we can only wait.

 

Lyrics:

Dream catcher, what’s the matter?
Where all my have dreams gone?
Nightmares and blank stares
And thoughts of you
years have gone.

Dream catcher, what’s the matter?
Face of my youth
Forsaken, hearts breakin’
Ask for the truth

Confess my loneliness
at midnight, my darkest hour
Dreaming you’re feeling down
Hearts like a thunder shower

Dream catcher, give me laughter
Face of my youth
Forsaken, heart’s breakin’
Search for the truth

At the end of the night
Catch my dreams tonight
Will you shelter me from dreaming
of my …

Dream catcher, what’s the matter?
Where all my dreams have gone?
Nightmares and blank stares
And thoughts of you
years have gone.

Dream catcher, what’s the matter?
Face of my youth
Forsaken, heart’s breakin’
Search for the truth

Confess my loneliness
at midnight, my darkest hours
Fearing now, dreaming of
Hearts like a thunder shower

Dream catcher, what’s the matter?
Face of my youth
Forsaken, hearts breakin’
Search for the truth

At the end of the night
You can catch my dreams tonight
Will you shelter me from dreaming
of my darkest …

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