Where do I start with Green Day? One of my favourite bands who I have seen three times previous. And from a hundred or so gigs over the years, those rate as the best. So how would this one cope with the challenge to make it four out of four by the same?

Green Day – First Direct Arena, Leeds – 5 February 2017 © Antony N Britt 2017

Well, from the moment the crowd sang along to Bohemian Rhapsody, then Drunk Bunny ambled onto stage to Blitzkrieg Bop, the excitement heightened. Not that you need to be warmed up for the arrival of Green Day because as soon as Billie-Joe Armstrong runs out and shouts, “Everybody stand up,” a 13,000 audience stands. He says, wave your hands, everybody duly obeys. And not just obey, give themselves freely to this Svengali who also convinces males and females of all ages to stage dive, much to the better judgement of some.

Then we were off. Straight into Know Your Enemy, Bang Bang, Revolution Radio and Holiday. Yes, we had the expected the anti-Trump comments, but also with a message that we were to have no negativity, but joy, love and passion.

Playing half of the recent Revolution Radio album alongside a full back catalogue, Green Day showed not only are they at the top of their game, they never went away.

Of recent songs, my personal favourites were Still Breathing and Youngblood. Then we had the old: Basket Case, Hitchin’ a Ride, Letterbomb, Waiting and She. Of course, there was the obligatory live rendition of King for a Day/Shout, of which no Green Day show should be without. Also well represented was American Idiot with several tracks including the title number and Jesus of Suburbia in the encore.

And what can I say about audience participation. The usual conscript lead vocals on Longview, plus a young girl singing on stage to Know Your Enemy. The biggest wow moment came, though when a young boy was invited to play a few chords alongside the band and was told by Mr Armstrong, “You can keep the guitar.”

So, was this performance up with the rest? Yes, I can honestly say that about a crew who I consider to be the best live band ever.

Green Day – First Direct Arena, Leeds – 5 February 2017

Cheers.

Nick

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