I’ll be honest with saying I haven’t been one for pure rock concerts. I’ve seen pop stars, boy bands, and emo rockers; but on the night of 1st July, I believe I finally reached the rite of passage that is attending a purely rock concert. And that concert was Green Day.
The show was the most different experience I ever had with a concert, in both the acts and the crowds. As part of the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival, it was a beautiful outdoor experience where the whole crowd were together. Singing and dancing, screaming and jumping, and I felt like these were my kind of people.
Green Day stormed onto the stage, powered up from the opening play of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (every single person knew this song, no one missed a word, it was gorgeous) with the hit “Know Your Enemy”. That’s how you knew the night was beginning right!
The band gave their all and more that night; even bringing on some special audience members to help them out! Special shout-out to the sweet girl who was brought on to sing the final verse of “Longview” and owned that whole stage. You’ve done proud when you’ve impressed Billie Joe Armstrong. The thousands of us in the crowd were so proud of you!
Let’s set the music aside for a minute and think about the messages that were being broadcasted by Armstrong during the show. I have heard slight criticism of how he was deciding to talk and talk and chant and chant, but personally, it was inspiring. It’s a Green Day concert – we all knew it was going to get political and serious at moments, but Armstrong knew what he was talking about. He can talk all he wants because he is spreading a message of love, equality, and freedom.
“No racism, no sexism, no homophobia, no Donald Trump.” Agreed.
Back to the tunes, though. The mix of old-school tracks such as “When I Come Around”, “Basket Case” and “Welcome To Paradise” with the newer track’s from 2016’s Revolution Radio, such as “Bang Bang” and “Ordinary World”, proves that there is always something for a Green Day fan who have been there since the early days or the fans who may have only heard about them a few years back. Proof of this is me, 18 years old with most of Revolution Radio memorised, attending the show with my brother, who is 28 and has possibly listened to American Idiot about 4000 times. This band knows what they are doing, and they have been doing it for 30 great years!
My personal favourites from the night? Well, since “all of them” may be a bit cliché – despite being the full-on absolute truth – I’ll try and narrow it down.
My ultimates would include their performances of “Holiday” (brought back memories of GCSE Music) and “Minority”, which are personal favourites of mine. I would also give some love to “King for a Day”, because it was a little different to the rest of the show – I mean, it’s Green Day and there was an epic “Careless Whisper” sax solo. I questioned for a moment, “is this… really a Green Day gig?” But it was awesome and I laughed along with it.
It was the encores that completed the whole night (literally). That gap between “Forever Now” and the start of the encore, “American Idiot”, was intense and it made that song even stronger. It’s not Green Day without “American Idiot”, and no matter your age, you’ll have to agree there.
The second encore was what wrecked my heart at the beauty of it all. I have a soft spot for “Ordinary World”, it is one of my most favourites from Revolution Radio, and when it played it hit hard. I was expecting but not expecting it. It was soft, beautiful, and everything I needed. The complete closer of “Good Riddance” was how I knew the show was over. It is a ‘goodbye’ from everyone on stage – at least until next time – and even though I never wanted to leave, it felt right to.
Would I see Green Day again? Well, why not? It was an experience to remember, and one I want to experience again. And again. And again!