Lady Gaga, Green Day Join Organized Chaos Of VMA Rehearsals

MTV Music Video Awards air Sunday at 9 p.m.

NEW YORK — “Thud. Thud. Thud.” That’s the sound currently filling Radio City Music Hall, and it’s coming from [artist id="988"]Green Day[/artist] drummer Tre Cool’s kit, which sits center stage, alone, save for the one drum tech pounding away on it.

Cool and the guys are getting ready to rehearse for their MTV Video Music Awards performance, and before long, that lone drum tech is joined by an army of guitar techs, stagehands and lighting designers. Soon, the thudding of the drumkit is drowned out by the crunch of chords, the crackle of walkie-talkies and the booming voice of the VMA director on the house P.A.

It’s a true tidal wave of sound, and when combined with the glare of the massive stage lights and L.E.D. screens, it’s more than a little overwhelming. It’s been going on since 10 a.m., and it won’t end until very late tonight … or possibly some time tomorrow.

Welcome to the day before the VMAs, a high-stress marathon in which every last detail of the show must be ironed out — or else. Which means everything — from seemingly minor details like light cues to major things like musical performances — is rehearsed, over and over (and over) again.

Plenty has already happened. [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist] was here early this afternoon, working her way through her top-secret performance (in front of a very select group of people). And before the day’s done, Green Day and Muse will work out their kinks, too. Also, there are plenty of sound, light, and stage cues to work through, production meetings, script readings, blocking, timing … you name it, it will probably be addressed.

As if on cue, Tre Cool finally appears, steps behind his kit, and picks up where his drum tech left off:

“Thud. Thud. Thud” — the soundtrack to Saturday …

Watch the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Preshow this Sunday, September 13, at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the big event, live at 9 p.m. Check out our interactive map of New York to see how the city is celebrating the VMAs all week long, and stay tuned for party coverage, concert reports, behind-the-scenes updates and more.