Tag Archive: Green Day


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

I have to admit to some trepidation when venturing to watch American Idiot. You see, I’m a huge Green Day fan and not only that, the original CD on which this show is based is among my top five favourite albums of all time. And I also enjoy the Broadway Cast version, too, so the event had a lot to live up to

Green Day’s American Idiot – New Alexander Theatre, Birmingham – 13 May 2016

The first disappointment, however, was the audience. I was in the middle circle which was only a third full. Then came the opening. On an impressive set which reflects the theme of the show, American Idiot should have burst into action, blasting me from my seat. It didn’t. The title track was … well, too quiet. I expected the sound to near burst my ears from such a fantastic number, but I was left a little deflated. Now this had nothing to do with the performance, more that I felt the sound people had got it totally wrong. The sound did improve, thankfully, as the show went on, in spite of a further complication when Tunny’s microphone failed to work for the entire of Are We The Waiting.

Now this might sound like a disaster of a show but two things swung it round. The magnificence of the Green Day numbers and the dynamic performance of the cast. After the initial problems, I was soon on the edge of my seat in excited anticipation for each song. Highlights for me were, Letterbomb, Extraordinary Girl, 21 Guns and Homecoming.

Okay, the story on stage is pretty thin and often confusing unless you already know what is going on, but American Idiot is more about bringing the music to life. And the show did just that.

Playing the lead of Johnny was English singer/songwriter, Newton Faulkner who delivered an excellent performance. Former X-Factor finalist, Amelia Lily also shone as Whatsername as did Alexis Gerred and Steve Rushton as Tunny and Will, respectively. The role of Johnny’s alter-ego, St Jimmy was undertaken with power by Lucas Rush. For my visit, two of the cast stepped up in their understudy roles with neither giving anything short of marvellous. Alice Stokoe was perfect in the part of Heather as was Karina Hinds as Extraordinary Girl.

I also have to mention the band of Robert Wicks, Alex Machisone, Tommaso Varvello and Nick Kent who along with Steve Rushton, faithfully reproduced the Green Day magic. American Idiot was directed and choreographed by Racky Plews with musical supervision from Richard Morris.

It’s a testament to a show with regard to how much of an impact it makes on you. I have attended performances where I have left the theatre and not thought a lot about it for a while afterwards. This was not the case regarding American Idiot. For nearly a week, I had the Broadway CD playing in my car, then the original Green Day album, followed by Broadway again.

Yes, American Idiot left it’s mark.

It’s not over till you’re underground.

Green Day’s American Idiot – New Alexander Theatre, Birmingham – 13 May 2016

Nick

Catch up time …

Been extremely busy recently. Haven’t had much time for writing but I thought today, I’d focus on a few things observed during the past few weeks.

Food glorious food.

In all the madness of a hectic life, I don’t think I have spoken about the time I had in London when I went to see Green Day at the Arsenal Emirates Stadium in June.

The gig was fantastic. Billie Joe Armstrong is a Svengali. If he told me to dive into the crowd and surf, I would.

July 14 - Emirates Stadium Green Day

You can just about see the band on this pic, but in my defence, has anybody ever taken a good picture at a concert?

As I say, fantastic day, but I wish I could say the same about the eating options courtesy of Arsenal Football Club.

Now you know me and food places, if there is crap to be had, I will find it. Travelling a fair distance and wanting to get to our seats as quickly as possible, I thought we’d sample the stadium cuisine. What an idiot I was. You see Arsenal offer a choice of pizza slices, spicy chicken and … er, that’s it. They didn’t even have chips! What sort of bloody eating establishment doesn’t do chips? Jacket Potatoes, pies? No, just cardboard pizza and (very) spicy chicken.

Arsenal are one of the top Premier League football clubs. However their food is pretty much Non-League.

After the concert, starving with sore throats due to singing along to Green Day, plus too much spicy chicken, we found a McDonald’s in Harringay. Yes, I know it was late but you’d think they’d clear the tables of leftover meals.

July 14 - Emirates Stadium Green Day (2)

Yes, I know it’s blurred, as were my eyes after a long day. However, the picture tells the story. It was disgusting. Not a single empty table without half-eaten burgers of cartons everywhere.

Next time I have a day out in London for a concert at a football stadium, I think I’ll take sandwiches.

Trucking along with Eddie Stobart.

Saw an advert for a new CD. Eddie Stobart Trucking Songs. I never knew Eddie Stobart was in rock band. Oh, I see, they are just using the name to sell CDs.

July 14 - Eddie Stobart Trucking Songs CD

Now if you’ve read some of my more recent roasts, you will know I have a thing about truck drivers and in particular, how they drive on the motorway, taking half an hour to overtake another truck while holding up all of the traffic.

IMGP8932

Yes, I know I’ve used that shot a lot recently, but it tells the story.

Still, what songs could a truck driving themed CD consist of?

Anything by the 70s group, Middle of the Road.

Drive Slow – Kanye West

Stuck in the Middle with You – Steelers Wheel.

Road Rage – Catatonia

The album, Learning to Crawl – The Pretenders.

Any more that poeple can think of? I think I’ll stick to my playlist, plus hoot my horn if lorry drivers continue to drive like morons.

Faster and even more Furious Ridiculous.

I had the misfortune to have to go to the cinema recently to see Fast and Furious 6. Now, I admit, it wasn’t my sort of film and I knew this from the off, but I had no choice in what I went to see.

July 14 - Fast and Furious 6

Not only do car chases bore me, I hadn’t seen Fast and Furious 1-5. I like something more in my cinema entertainment, that special ingredient in a film. Namely, a plot.

Take away the high speed chases in Fast and Furious 6 and you’re left with ten minutes. Mind you, easy job for the actors. Let’s face it … not much script to learn.

The whole thing was ridiculous and nothing more so than the final chase. As the baddies are trying to take off on a huge plane, our heroes are after them on the longest runway known to man. I’m not sure how fast a plane has to be to achieve take off but the chase took over fifteen minutes. Therefore, I reckon they’d need a fifty mile runway to make good what the screen portrayed.

What a rubbish trip to the pictures. They don’t make films like Gandhi any more.

Or do they?

July 14 - Ghandi II The Empire Strikes Back

So that’s it.

I don’t know where the days go. As soon as I press click to post this, it will be time to do it all over again. I’m sure as you get older, you lose ten minutes from every hour.

Cheers.

Nick

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