Green Day

What’s Bil­lie Joe say­ing here? Clue: it prob­a­bly rhymes with ‘Play-doh’

Kerrang! (UK) - - NEWS -

WORDS: JENNYFER J. WALKER PHO­TOS: ANDY GAL­LAGHER

IN A week­long line-up of head­lin­ers in­clud­ing The Killers, Kings Of Leon, Phil Collins and Bil­lie Joe Arm­strong’s favourite, Justin Bieber, this Green Day-topped bill is most cer­tainly con­sid­ered the ‘punk day’. Even more so with crusty punks Ran­cid sup­port­ing – that’s two Arm­strongs for the price of one, and three if you caught Joey Arm­strong’s band SWMRS ear­lier on in the day.there’s about as many die-hard Ran­cid fans here as the mem­bers of Ran­cid have hairs on their heads, with most of the crowd sport­ing Green Day shirts, or look­ing like they’ve just wan­dered in for a pic­nic. But the Berke­ley punks’ fast, fu­ri­ous set does the job.at 22 songs it drags a lit­tle – es­pe­cially dur­ing new tracks like Where I’m Go­ing and Buddy. But the dancier Jour­ney To The End Of The East Bay is a high­light, warm­ing every­one up with its yells of ‘AY! AY! AY!’ (more of that later) – and it even gets the sign lan­guage lady skank­ing in her lit­tle video box. Peo­ple are stoked for Time Bomb, too, but that might just be be­cause it’s al­most time for Green Day to play.

Like East Bay post­men, Bil­lie Joe Arm­strong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool al­ways de­liver.there’s that heart­warm­ing con­nec­tion be­tween band and crowd: Bil­lie Joe des­per­ately seek­ing out a guy to sing Know Your En­emy, and a girl for Wel­come To Par­adise. He also soaks the au­di­ence with a pres­sure-washer hose, which he swaps for a T-shirt can­non, fir­ing shirts so far out they al­most land in Re­gent’s Park.

That said, be­ing bru­tally hon­est, there are way-oh too many way-ooooohs. Of all va­ri­eties, too. Dur­ing Hitchin’ A Ride they range from whis­pery to loud to, er, si­lence, as Bil­lie just sits on the stage and waits for peo­ple to do their own.they don’t, but he’s en­joy­ing him­self any­way.“i said ah waaaaaay-oooooh!” he shouts jump­ing back up, yelp­ing like some sort of par­rot-dog hy­brid, be­fore of­fer­ing,“wel­come to the jun­gle, baby! You’re gonna dieeeeee!”

But then there’s the songs. So. Many. Songs.

Bang Bang is as ex­plo­sive as its ti­tle, Hol­i­day sounds just per­fect and peo­ple clap with­out even be­ing in­structed dur­ing the ex­tended bridge, which leads into Bil­lie’s chants of “No racism, no sex­ism, no ho­mo­pho­bia, and no…” he growls, “Don­ald Trump!”

The trio’s play­ing is as tight as The Don­ald’s white ten­nis shorts – songs so com­mit­ted to mus­cle mem­ory that nei­ther beat nor note is missed. Dur­ing When I Come Around, Bil­lie Joe lit­er­ally plays the gui­tar be­hind his head, stand­ing on one leg.they make this shit look so easy.

The peo­ple strug­gling to keep up are out in the crowd, gasp­ing for enough air to fa­cil­i­tate yelling along to the likes of St. Jimmy, Bas­ket Case and Mi­nor­ity, whilst also us­ing up said air with con­tin­u­ous jump­ing around to these time­less tracks.

Bil­lie Joe’s on par­tic­u­larly chatty form this evening, ref­er­enc­ing the hard times Lon­don has suf­fered re­cently. “But tonight we’re gonna have some fuck­ing good times!” he ex­claims post-let­ter­bomb.“this is ded­i­cated to weirdos, freaks and met­al­heads,” he of­fers be­fore a beau­ti­fully del­i­cate a capella in­tro to Je­sus Of Sub­ur­bia, be­fore a full-on rant dur­ing the med­ley sec­tion.

“I don’t need any more bull­shit!” he yells, face and body on the floor of the stage.“i don’t want any­more politi­cians telling me what to think.we all come from fucked-up back­grounds, every­one’s got some shit they don’t wanna talk about. But we come to­gether, we get fucked-up to­gether.this is about free­dom! From this point for­ward there’s gonna be a change in us; I firmly be­lieve rock’n’roll mu­sic can change the world.”

While it might not change the world tonight (although the wheels of rev­o­lu­tion are cer­tainly in mo­tion), Green Day’s pres­ence does make the shit Lon­don’s been through re­cently feel a lit­tle bit bet­ter. And as the feels and con­fetti rain down over Hyde Park dur­ing the clos­ing notes of Good Rid­dance (Time Of Your Life), it’s clear these 65,000 peo­ple have never felt so free.what a band.what a night.

Kkkkk = clas­sic kkkk = ex­cel­lent kkk = good kk = av­er­age k = poor SWMRS’ Cole couldn’t get over the gi­ant gui­tar. Just wait un­til he turns around…

Bil­lie Joe’s jaw locked after the 57th “WAAAAY-OH!” Tram­po­lines: an es­sen­tial at any punk gig Mike Dirnt spots a roadie nick­ing his sand­wich. Not cool

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