Tag Archive: Mike Dirnt


Almost three years since I bought tickets for the Hella Mega Tour, I finally got to see Green Day. Two postponements due to Covid lockdowns later, was it worth the wait?

It wasn’t just Green Day on the bill, though, but also Weezer and Fall Out Boy, neither whom I had seen before, despite having several albums. There was also Amyl and the Sniffers with a short set, which I was unfortunately unable to see due to the staff at The John Smith Stadium being unable to cope with a large crowd on the pitch.

Yes, this is a gig review, but I must also mention the venue, this being the worst stadium experience I have ever had. Where on earth did John Smith’s organisers do their research … Hillsborough? Inadequate toilets, about a dozen burger vans and beer tent with hour-long queues to cater for thousands, then the entire pitch’s spectators directed in and out of the same narrow entry/exit. This was a disaster in the making, which thankfully did not happen.

On with the music.

I love Weezer, have always wanted to see them so although I bought tickets primarily for Green Day, Weezer were a delightful bonus. And I was not disappointed. From the moment Rivers Cosmo launched into Hash Pipe, then the brilliant Beverley Hills, the audience were entranced. Pork and Beans and Undone (The Sweater Song) soon followed among many more until ending with Say it Ain’t So and the classic Buddy Holly.

Green Day/Fall Out Boy/Weezer (Hella Mega Tour)—John Smith Stadium Huddersfield —25 June 2022 ©Antony N Britt 2022

There were also two strange choices of covers. Question. Should anyone cover Metalica’s Enter Sandman? Some songs are sacred. Then we had the horror of a cover of Toto’s Africa, a tune second only to Broken Wings by Mr. Mister for its ability to induce projectile vomiting.

But Weezer are a fun band. And a good band. What they do is entertain, and I certainly felt that at The John Smith Stadium.

Then came Fall Out Boy. I can’t say I’m a massive fan. I’ve listened to them but there is always a niggle over what they want to be. A pop band pretending to be rock? The music seems too manufactured for rock audiences at times. And it doesn’t help when your lead singer lacks the stage presence that bassist and chief songwriter, Pete Wentz has.

Green Day/Fall Out Boy/Weezer (Hella Mega Tour)—John Smith Stadium Huddersfield —25 June 2022

But it was a harmless set, with numbers including Sugar We’re Going Down, A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More “Touch Me,” This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race and Thnks Fr Th Mmrs. One thing of curiosity; halfway through we had a needless interruption for Fall Out Boy to change their already OTT set for a smaller one with a second drum set on a wobbly wooden house surrounded by cheap picket fencing which looked like a full-size version of a Year 7 Show and Tell Project. FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER! Then they changed it back after a couple of songs. Bizarre.

But at least we had Green Day to come, although even with them being one of my top bands of all time, I felt short-changed. I’m used to getting nearly three hours of Green Day. Heck, you normally can’t get them off stage. What we had instead was a streamlined 90 minutes which was over before you knew it. I’d have preferred to have Fall Out Boy kicked into touch and give Green Day the extra hour.

But what they did was epic. You had the traditional Drunk Bunny beforehand and then what better opener than American Idiot? Holiday, Know Your Enemy and Boulevard of Broken Dreams followed before an interrupted Longview when Billie Joe Armstrong saw people struggling in the crowd. This was not an isolated incident as I saw evidence of several panic attacks in a poorly segregated arena. There was a further incident which led to an impromptu version of Ziggy Stardust by Billie Joe. It seemed like that anyway as the Bowie song didn’t make an appearance anywhere else on the UK leg of the tour.

Green Day/Fall Out Boy/Weezer (Hella Mega Tour)—John Smith Stadium Huddersfield —25 June 2022 ©Antony N Britt 2022

Welcome to Paradise, Hitchin a Ride, Brain Stew, Basket Case, When I Come Around, the hits kept coming. And there was still room for titans such as 21 Guns, Minority, Jesus of Suburbia and Wake Me Up When September Ends. We also had the staple live outing for King For a Day into the Isley Brother’s Shout. As is normal, a Green Day gig ends with Billie Joe solo for Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) before tickertape and pyrotechnics herald the return of band members Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool alongside touring musicians Jason White, Jason Freese and Kevin Preston. One thing that did disappoint, though; there was nothing played post 2009. Pity to ignore the last five albums.

A great showing from the stars of the show, even if it did leave me wanting more for valid reasons this time. But still, Green Day at least know how to put on a gig. Here’s to many more.

Cheers.

Antony N Britt 

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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