SECC, Glasgow, Mon 19 Oct 2009
This article is from 2009.
American neo-punks Green Day stormed onstage to deafening chants of their name before proceeding to take fans on a non-stop audio and visual extravaganza from the first hooky riff to the last exploding pyrotechnic.
It wasn't your standard start to a rock show by any stretch however, as a rather surreal giant, pink, beer-swigging bunny came onstage to warm up the audience. He gave way to soaring flames for the opening salvo, the title track from their latest album 21st Century Breakdown. This immediately sent the 10,000 all-ages crowd into a torrent of frenetic dancing that continued throughout the near three-hour set. Livewire singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, currently sporting a Billy Idol-esque peroxide hairdo, was relentless through out, zigzagging around stage with seemingly unlimited energy.
Taking much of their influence from original punk legends The Clash, Sex Pistols and The Ramones and distilling it into chunks of perfect pop swagger, they now have more than enough ammunition in their back catalogue to keep the crowd jangling, from the now relatively old school classic ‘Basket Case’ to the fast ‘n’ furious ‘St.Jimmy' and even some fist-pumping anthemic rock in the shape of current single ‘East Jesus Nowhere’, whose stomping beats and bombastic riffs contrasted with the token melancholic ballad ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’.
There's plenty of audience participation here as they pull punters from the audience onstage to get involved – a trick they've employed for many years now – and reminder perhaps that the Green Day spectacle is a meticulously planned theatrical performance that is, for detractors, closer to cabaret than its visceral, spontaneous roots. That said, it certainly doesn't stop it being one hell of a show.