Green Day : Emirates stadium London : Live ReviewGreen Day

Emirates Stadium, London

1 June 2013

Money is always an issue in the modern world we live in, here at the Emirates Stadium fans of the home North London team Arsenal have been screaming at manager Arséne Wenger for not splashing the cash that has left the team to flounder in the Premier league. Cash problems are the same for tonight’s headliners Green Day, be it an over spend. Once on the top of their game in 2004 after introducing the blistering concept album American Idiot, the band have met a steady decline with 2009 follow up 21st Century Breakdown and last year’s three album disaster of ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! And ¡Tre! that had the band beached in the shallows of the charts after this big production attempt.

However Arsenal and Green Day fans are very much alike in this instance, failing to be fazed by big league attempts they come out in force to indulge in the past and lend support to the future. While the football team raises it cannons for their hurrahs, team GD raise their 21 gun salute for the fabled Berkeley trio.

With the sun seeping through the open top stadium the Green Day army swarm towards the stage in their uniform of recently selected merchandise marking the 99 Revolutions tour. The stage that they are crushing towards however looks distinctly minimalist for the big budget headliners. The bands 2010 Wembley Stadium shows were met with gigantic visuals, CO2 cannon blasts and a firework finally – todays Emirates performance features none of this. The stage is but merely guitar cabs, drums and select lighting that flare up as the trio bound onstage to the tour title track 99 Revolutions with the now rabid attendees clambering at their feet.

It is not long however before tedium sets in – if you have seen Green Day before in the last six years then this sadly will be all too familiar, and if not spoiler alert! Only into the second song – the politically charged single Know Your Enemy – frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is up to his old tricks of bringing a lucky fan up on stage to sing a chorus alongside the punk royalty. Although Armstrong may see himself as a skinny jeaned Santa making dreams come true for kids worldwide – for the rest of the 49,991 attendees – by the fifth time we are met by a strung out instrumental verse while the chosen one is elected we get shifty feet as we are left with a big sack of boring coal.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, while the lengthy but mostly captivating two and a half hour set runs through fan favourites such as Holiday and Welcome To Paradise the set is met by select live rarities. The gentle rock roller Missing You – taken from latest album ¡Tre! – get its first ever live debut with the band seeming the most focused and content of the evening. 2000’s Warning and Sassafras Roots from 1994’s Dookie also makes a welcome appearance via crowd request.

Finalising the evening is ¡Tre! ballad Brutal Love which takes the place of Good Riddance. With camera phones swaying to the acoustic chimes of the dimly lit stadium as Armstrong sings “Turn out the lights, close your eyes,” an intimate moment is created but it doesn’t quite pack the same emotive punch as “I hope you had the time of your life.” When the last chord is struck without even a whimper of a single firecracker the band disperse. Like Arsenal look back to 2005 at their last great trophy it seems Green Day fans do the same, with people longing for the golden oldies and American Idiot marking the heyday it looks like the band are destined to continue their predictable greatest hits sets like today for the foreseeable future, a worthy investment but the same returns can always be expected.

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  1. This review is a bit harsh, however I do agree with you on some points. First of all I wanted to say that it was a great show with the band playing many of their classic hits such as ‘basket case, welcome to paradise long view etc’. I thought the show was bit of a slow start, Like you said some fireworks would of been nice when they first came on, I was actually at the show at Wembley stadium a few years ago and from what I remember that night which made it so special was the use of fireworks, backdrops and screenshots, I however thought for the show last night that the visuals were very good. I felt like the show really started to pick up when basket case came on and when it started to get dark. They’ve been doing the same thing with their shows for the last 8 years or so now, very similar predictable set lists and you know what’s going to happen next and what there are going to do with the audience. I was really disappointed with how they finished on Brutal Love, like you said Time of your life has much more of an affect and considering Brutal Love is perhaps not an ‘song everyone knows’ type, some people would of been disappointed to not know the song they finished on.

    With all that being said, it was still a fabulous show with Billie really interacting with the audience by pulling fans up onstage (as they usually do) I thought their set list was pretty good with a mixture of their old stuff and new stuff, I liked how they nearly included songs of near enough all their albums (the only song which wasn’t plan of an album was kerplunk). I actually went to the show at wembley stadium a few years ago and I actually thought musically they sounded better at the show last night, Billie’s voice sounded incredible and Mike and Tre was great too. Overall I’ll give the show an


  2. Very harsh review! Clearly missing the point, fans buy tickets to see shows, we bought the albums and know the songs. I loved the set list and the audience interaction. If we didn’t then we wouldn’t go!

    Personally, I go to see a band perform, not watch a fireworks display. They could stand on cardboard boxes to perform, I couldn’t care less about the stage. Its about the music, atmosphere and performance.

    I have been to many Green Day shows over the years and this was possibly the best since Milton Keynes!

  3. Have to agree with the 2 comments above – a harsh review. I went along on Saturday by no means the biggest Green Day fan but have enjoyed plenty of their songs. I only went as a mate couldn’t go so I bought his tickets off him for me & my gf. I have to say I thought it was a fantastic gig – the atmosphere was amazing and everyone was there to enjoy themselves. I’ve been to too many gigs where half the audience isn’t really interested.
    I don’t know too many of the new songs – but the sheer energy & enthusiasm of the band & the audience made it easily one of the best gigs I’ve been too!

    Ive read somewhere the band have hinted at more UK dates this year – I for one will be going again!!

  4. Bit harsh but there are points I agree with. The x thousand fans sung every line and its refreashing that they involve their fans on stage, unlike many other bands I have seen. Tbh the warm up acts could have been better…….

  5. I was on full charge at this gig! I truly enjoyed the whole green day set,unlike all the warm up acts as they were the tiresome bunch for me!but then you always appreciate the headliners as the reason you were there on the day ! And I traveled from the Isle of Wight and I got the show I was hoping for!


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