Feather boas, pirate hats and Bonnets. Not the usual images you conjure up when reviewing a punk rock show. Bare bums, cursing and an obvious rebellion against the general flow of society? Now, they’re definitely common place at such a gig, luckily for me a was at a punk rock show and I saw it all.
The energy at Rod laver arena was palpable, from the hoards of young fans excitedly making their way to this indelible memory making event to the energised diehards in the snack bar line. One of which I was lucky enough to be in the company of. I lapped up this anticipation and carry it through to this review.
Late though we might have been, we arrived inside the arena just in time to see the band grace the stage as I look out at the thousands of hands in the air reveling at the opportunity to be in the company of these plucky Californians (they come from Oakland not Auckland) I feel as grateful and as a virgin Green Day concert goer I – AM - READY – TO – ROCK!! Backed by a huge screen displaying real life and animated forms of the band and imagery from their platinum album 21st century Breakdown we are greeted by fireworks, flames and a band that start and finish with a bang!
A set comprising a fair sized portion of the 21st century track list and working backwards to Dookie and a finale that sees a solo Billie Joe Armstrong and a crowd of thousands at his command bring it home with good riddance; a song title which by no means carried the same sentiment from the crowd to the band.
The band played solidly for over 2 hours and displayed an ever - increasing level of energy and on stage banter. When the band finished there was a moment of hesitation when everyone ponders a thought cross between “did that just happen” and “I don’t want this to be over”. No doubt these are the thoughts that run through the minds of the young fans who were summoned to the Stage by Armstrong to be sacrificed (theatrically), partake in a super soaking or sing with the band. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones at least you got to see Armstrong’s bare bum…..Twice!
Green day are an impertinent Punk Rock band, they make music that defines what can suck about humanity and the collective robotic like society that we all are a part of, they write songs that rebel against authority and quintessential punk themes that engage the teen heart so. But they do it with an intense gratitude to those who feel their pain and need to share their angsty confusion with the world. It’s no wonder they have sold over 60 million albums.
They have indeed evolved from the thrashy punk of Kerplunk! to include definite classic rock sound 21st Century Breakdown. Accompanying a more emotive and personal lyrical content Armstrong has cited feeling ‘middle aged’ as one of the core influences of writing this album. In the face of this the entire band jumps, plays and plainly cavorts around the stage like a limber teenagers and the only different about this Green Day and the early 90’s Green Day I so adored was that I am now in my 30’s.
Despite innumerable teenage flashbacks of watching (time after time) Live in Chicago (1994) Green Day have proven their evolution and cult like status is well and truly justified. After a few shaky moments through the years when my attention was all but lost, I am re-converted and here I shall forever stay