Green Day | The O2 | 8 February 2017
(Photos taken from the crowd using a Sony point-and-shoot)
When it comes to arena rock shows, Green Day know that more is always more. So, over the course of two-and-a-half hours, we get fireworks, thunderclaps, flames, confetti, T-shirt guns, water hoses, people pulled up on stage to sing and play guitar, Freddie Mercury-style singalongs, and even the saxophone solo from ‘Careless Whisper’.
And yet, despite the extravaganza, the emphasis is always on the music. Led by a fired-up Billy Joe Armstrong, the band reach all the way from 1992’s ‘2000 Light Years Away’ to tracks like ‘Bang Bang’ from their explosive new album, ‘Revolution Radio‘.
And, with the current US political situation making ‘American Idiot’ more relevant than ever, songs from the landmark 2004 LP once again get the exposure they deserve -‘Jesus Of Suburbia’ in particular sounding angrier than it has in years. Between songs, Armstrong is equally vocal about the state of the world, preaching a message of inclusion, of love over hate, without ever crossing the line into Bono-scale evangelism. He and the band clearly know they’re here to entertain and their collective sense of mischief is always close to the surface – never more apparent than when, against the backdrop of their name in cheesy Vegas-style lighting, they vamp their way through a medley of cover versions including ‘Shout’, ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’, and ‘Hey Jude’.
It’s a delicate balancing act in front of 16 000 hypnotised fans, but Green Day succeed effortlessly, in the process creating the most thrilling live rock show of the past decade.
- See Green Day at Hyde Park on 1 July 2017.