April 30th, 2017
Support – The Interrupters
Say what you will about them – like you ‘don’t like their new stuff’ or ‘they should have retired long ago’, but actually that’s a cop out to punk heroes Green Day who have once again proven how consistently exceptional they are, thirty years later as a band. We discovered this by attending the band’s very first leg of the ‘Revolution Radio’ Australian tour at Perth Arena.
The streets of Perth lit up as diehard fans swarmed into the Arena to secure their spot on either side of the stage cat-walk. The atmosphere was cheerful and relaxed, a perfect way to end the weekend. Green Day brought with them some mates from LA, known as The Interrupters who came on stage to play an honest and raw punk-rock set to warm up the crowd. The band who just played Coachella, were tight, and ripping through their tracks with precision and confidence. Vocalist Aimee Allen jumped around the stage and screamed out to early-comers, urging everyone to get involved. Playing songs from their record ‘Say it Out Loud’, The Interrupters did just that, and certainly gained some new fans in the process.
Less than half an hour after The Interrupters walked off stage, the lights dimmed as Green Day carried out their usual pre-show ritual of having a bunny-suit dance on the stage to ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ by Ramones. Fans were screaming in anticipation as the curtain fell to reveal an enormous set that had the homely reek of Green Day.
Drummer and jokester Tré Cool waved to the crowd from behind his kit with a blue haircut and a big smile on his face. Seconds later, bassist Mike Dirnt and the touring band walked on stage as the opening bars for ‘Know Your Enemy’ begun. Then the man himself graced the stage, Billy Joe Armstrong – wearing all black including a dapper waistcoat and a red handkerchief hanging out of his shirt pocket. Cool’s drums pounded across the venue as fans screamed wildly with anticipation, singing along to the opening song from their 2009 album 21st Century Breakdown.
Though it was evening of classics and digging through the archives, the band couldn’t deprive their touring record Revolution Radio so they played a blistering rendition of ‘Bang Bang’ and a sing-along to the title track, proving that the crowd are definitely on-board with the ‘new stuff’, a stellar album to say the least. Armstrong put his hand to his ear urging fans to scream their lungs out, over and over. He walked up and down the cat-walk and from side to side so that everyone could get a glimpse of the show.
From American Idiot anthems like ‘Holiday’ and ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ to genre-defining gems like ‘Longview’ and ‘When I Come Around’, you couldn’t argue that the band didn’t have something for everyone. Armstrong voiced his anti-war political views to the crowd and ensured everyone knew how he felt about U.S. President Donald Trump, before waiving an Australian flag at the end of the cat-walk. Punters went berserk as the singer catered to our shores, with such respect and gratitude.
Throughout the show, Green Day brought up three different fans to give him a hug, sing along and even play guitar with them, beautiful scenes as the band made some dreams come true, with such little effort and so much reward.
The setlist just kept going, and with the band’s thirty-year discography, they certainly weren’t running out of any prolific material (or back-drops) to play live to the audience ranging from teens to some older farts like ourselves. A sea of heads and arms jumped up and down to the chorus of ‘Minority’, soon before the band left the stage and returned with silly outfits on, as they played a mash-up of covers, including ‘King For a Day’, ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ and Hey Jude’. It was simply a fun vibe – Armstrong was grinning from ear-to-ear as he scanned the arena at excitable fans.
Green Day left the stage after longer than ninety minutes worth of live music. But of course the punk-rock legends weren’t done yet and returned for not one, but two encores. Hearing title track ‘American Idiot’ and ten minute track ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ in succession took us all back thirteen years to a wonderful era – and the band played it like they recorded it yesterday. Confetti flew from all corners of the building, to end the show in true style, but before Armstrong could let his loveable fans leave, he made one final appearance, centre-stage with an acoustic guitar, playing Revolution Radios ‘Ordinary World’ and then closing the show with an emotional delivery of ‘Time of Your Life’. Thank you for a perfect evening Green Day, what a performance!