Political stadium punk rock was just what we needed this Friday night.
In a world full of Supreme Court Justice types, be a Billie Joe Armstrong. If there’s any takeaway from the night, it’s this. As Billie renounces his American citizenship and angers Americans who clearly haven’t been paying attention to anything Green Day have released since 2003, the UK audience vigorously enjoys the release of bottled up fury at London Stadium this Friday night.
With an incredible line-up of Amyl And The Sniffers, Weezer and Fall Out Boy, the night was set to be epic. After stellar sets of the supports and special guests Green Day couldn’t have picked a better song to start than American Idiot. Fitting for the day and the news cycle, but also a classic to get the entire 75,000-people-filled stadium off their seats. And whilst the Bohemian Rhapsody may feel like an old schtick for some, it also never gets old. A twenty-two track set that released so much energy it lasted for days.
Paying tribute to rock’s greats with covers of KISS’ Rock And Roll All Night, or Operation Ivy’s Knowledge, the party never stopped – especially when Green Day put their spin on The Isley Brothers’ Shout for a good measure of dancing and booty shaking.
The kings of punk rock didn’t miss out on going all the way back to their roots with Welcome To Paradise off of their 1991 classic Kerplunk! alongside tracks off dookie and nimrod. The set list left very little to be desired.
And when the encore of Good Riddance echoed through London Stadium with lighters creating a sea of stars under the East London skies, even Billie Joe Armstrong had to take a minute to realise what a glorious night they had created. Half way through the first verse he stops and say “Oh my god, there’s seventy five thousand people here right now … it’s something where you kinda just go ‘How did this happen?’ ” he laughs and continues. A brief hey-look-ma-I-made-it moment, and we couldn’t think of a band who deserves it more than Green Day.
And as the fireworks go off over London Stadium, in all red of course, this one will go down as one of the best shows Green Day have probably ever played, but definitely the best we’ve ever seen. Political catharsis included. Don’t ever change, Green Day.