After a few small shows last year, Green Day are finally making their big UK return tonight playing a sold out show at the huge Emirates stadium in London. With their album trilogy turning out to be slightly disappointing, some people questioned whether Green Day were still relevant. After tonight though, Green Day have proved they are more relevant than ever.
First up was All Time Low, and these were simply the perfect choice for an opening band tonight. Despite there Pop-Punk songs leaning far more to the Pop side of things they still do a great job in getting the crowd warmed up for Green Day. Playing a setlist that mixed new songs from their latest album Don’t Panic in with older songs, there was not a bad moment. And ending with “Weightless” and “Dear Maria, Count Me In” was a brilliant touch, especially when Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat made their way into the crowd for the very end. Of all the modern Pop-Punk bands around, All Time Low look set to the next ones who could rival the biggest bands in the genre, expect them to be selling out arenas over here in the near future. (9)
In stark contrast, Kaiser Chiefs really proved that they just aren’t relevant anymore. With long moments of awkward silence from the audience during their set as most didn’t know the songs being played. It doesn’t help that with the exception of front-man Ricky Wilson, the band look incredibly bored up onstage and really didn’t bother putting on a great performance. When they eventually play their bigger songs such as “Ruby” and “I Predict A Riot” the audience finally start getting into it but that only happens for a few songs. At times it even seemed like Kaiser Chiefs just resorted to shouting “Green Day” in order to get a cheer from the crowd. (5)
Finally it was time for Green Day to play, not before the entire of the Emirates stadium sing along to “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” as they are played. Opening with “99 Revolutions” helped to show that live the new tracks sound a lot better than on record, but its when they play “Know Your Enemy” that the crowd really goes crazy, with the first of many lucky fans to make it onstage to sing with Billie Joe Armstrong. The rest of the first chunk of Green Day’s set focused on from Uno!, Dos! and Tre! whilst still throwing in a few fan favourites such as “Holiday” and “Nice Guys Finish Last”.
After 12 songs Billie Joe asks the audience if there are any really old school Green Day fans before launching into “Burnout”, this was when Green Day just cranked things up to a 11. Busting out “Sassafras Roots”, “Hitchin’ A Ride”, “Welcome To Paradise” and “Longview” all in a row was just ridiculous, with every song being sung back to the band by the entire audience. Another fan was brought onstage to sing the end of “Longview” too. At one point in during the set Billie Joe even shoots water, toilet roll and t shirts into the crowd, this just drills home the fact that Green Day’s live shows are simply about having fun. “Basket Case” and “She” understandably see the entire audience go crazy and are the biggest sing-along’s of the night. After a crazy covers medley featuring “Shout”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Teenage Kicks” and “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” the band finally bring the main set to a close with “Minority”.
Green Day soon return to the stage for an encore, kicking it off with “American Idiot”, they even manage to get a Wall Of Death going. “Jesus Of Suburbia” and “Brutal Love” bring the night to a close with the the entire Emirates lit up by fans holding their phones and lighters in the air. Throughout their entire set Green Day had a fantastic lighting set up but kept the theatrics to a minimum, with the live show being the band itself. If there could be one slight complaint about tonight it would be that Billie Joe perhaps got the crowd to sing “WHEEEEYYYYY OHHHHHHH” a few too many times but when everyone was having so much fun doing that, it’s hard to really criticise it. (10)
Green Day are simply one of the best live bands around right now. I doubt anyone who saw them at the Emirates would disagree. Its great to have Billie Joe Armstrong back and when Green Day headline Reading and Leeds later this year it’s going to be amazing. Hopefully they won’t leave it too long to play stadiums over here again. (9)