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Green Day - BST, Hyde Park

July 8, 2017

Last Saturday, 65,000 fans packed out the picturesque setting of London's Hyde Park, to bear witness to British Summer Time's biggest ode to punk-rock music. Headlined by East Bay's hometown heroes Green Day (10), the trio's performance was a spectacle in raw energy and high intensity punk-rock. Even from the opening lines of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody', played before the band hit the stage, fans fervently sang along deafening out the PA system. This well and truly set the tone for the evening, where 65,000 fans were treated to an absolute master-class in punk. 

 

 

Opening with 'Know Your Enemy', the precedent was set with the first of sixteen (yes we counted) notorious whey-oh chants that emerged during the stacked 27 song set. The first passionate fan was also brought on stage to sing the final verse, and then ushered to willingly stage dive into the crowd. Laden with pyro, Green Day continued at a ferocious pace with the band selecting a setlist that spanned from 1992's 'Kerplunk!' to 2016's 'Revolution Radio'. Although the reception to 'Revolution Radio' was initially skeptical and mixed upon release, live it sounded huge. Additions such as 'Bang Bang', 'Youngblood' and 'Still Breathing' fit solidly into the set, and the crowd's reaction confirmed this. Nonetheless, the biggest highlights belonged to older material, with a particular spine-tinging sequence coming in the triage of American Idiot's 'Holiday', 'Letterbomb' and 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams'. During this, it was difficult not to cast back to 2005 and the scenes in Bullet in a Bible, which cemented Green Day as a household name. 

 Photo courtesy of British Summer Time

 

It would not be a Green Day show without the absolute classics- the crowd went into an absolute frenzy upon hearing bassist Mike Dirnt play the opening bassline to 'Longview', which saw yet another fan grace the stage to sing with the band (we won't really mention much about the third who got removed from stage for absolutely destroying the chord sequence in 'Knowledge'). Other 1990s tracks such as 'Welcome to Paradise'', 'Hitchin' a Ride' and 'Basket Case' gained some of the largest sing-alongs of the evening, and proved why Green Day's earlier work is still relevant and iconic to rock fans of all ages. 

 

 Photo courtesy of British Summer Time

 

After front-man Billie-Joe Armstrong gave his traditional nods to Tré Cool, Mike Dirnt and the rest of Green Day's live band, Minority was played and proved to be the highlight of the evening. Usually vocal in anti-Trump rhetoric, Armstrong decided to take the opportunity to highlight the importance of new-music and upcoming talent stating, 'remember young people out there tonight... you are the future legends, if you're a musician you've gotta go and invest in the new and young bands that are coming up here every fucking day'. Amusingly followed by Green Day's signature 'quirky' outbreak of 'King For a Day/Shout' (with George Michael's Careless Whisper), you have to hand it for the band-  as serious as they can be, they are always light-hearted in their approach to live shows. 

 

Photo courtesy of British Summer Time

 

Due to the length of the set, Green Day delighted fans with an iconic double-encore, which saw 'American Idiot' followed by the rock-opera musings of 9 minute long 'Jesus of Suburbia'. Finally, Armstrong returned to to stage to play '21 Guns' and 'Good Riddance' (Time of Your Life) in solitary, supported by an acoustic guitar, but supported by 65,000 voices who held onto his every word. What can be taken from the show is that in years to come, music fans will look back on Green Day as arguably the most important and influential punk-rock band of the last 25 years. The band shows no signs of faltering, and the world is Green Day's for the taking. 

 

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