1 June, 2013: Green Day bring their Uno, Dos, Tre tour to London and send thousands of pop-punk fans into a frenzy.
“Englaaaaaaaand,” screams a wide-eyed Billie Joe Armstrong to the manic pogoing of thousands of crazed punks, “I fucking love this country.” Indeed, the fervour that meets the band and the comfort and ease with which they communicate almost makes it feel like Green Day are playing to a hometown crowd.
The UK was the first country to truly embrace the band and they controversially filmed their mammoth ‘Bullet In A Bible’ concert here. But there’s a reason why after over 25 years, Green Day still transcend age, trends and nationality.
Kicking off with the quickfire call to arms of ’99 Revolutions’, Billie Joe and co tear through a set that carries plenty of reminders as to why the world fell in love with them in the first place. Whether it’s a sweatbox club or a massive stadium, the chances of appearing on stage at a Green Day gig are still higher than most. The sheer love and respect that rebounds between band and audience couldn’t be more apparent as Billie Joe drags fan after fan onstage to participate.
To see the Emirates bounce without relent or inhibition is a pretty humbling sight, as countless childhoods are lovingly relived for the timeless dumb but devine superbrilliance of ‘Sassafras Roots’, ‘Hitchin A Ride’, ‘Welcome To Paradise’, ‘Longview’ and the true vintage Green Day classic ‘Going To Pasalacqua’. Newer tracks ‘Oh Love’ and ‘Stay The Night’ have all the hallmarks of the classic Green Day sound and are met like old friends, but the most manic reception is of course saved for ‘American Idiot’, ‘Minority’ and ‘Basket Case’.
Their jovial romp through covers of ‘Shout’, ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Teenage Kicks’ and ‘Always Look On The Bright Side of Life’ proves that some class clowns never get old.
Despite the muddy sound and the somewhat damp closing track ‘Brutal Love’, tonight is a testament as to why the best things in life stand the test of time. They still are, and always will be, the Daddies of Pop Punk. A guilty pleasure? Get a grip. It’s just pure, mindlessly fun youthful exuberance – and what’s more universal than that? Say “eeeey-ooooohhhh.”