Armstrong & Co. storm the RHK.
Armed with enough pyrotechnics and explosives to blow the roof (and back wall, and the bloody doors!) off the average indoor venue, Green Day lit up a grey day at the RHK with a performance that was equal parts earnest charm, infectious energy and concussive bombast.
Indeed, it’s still unclear as to whether the rain cleared up of its own accord, or if the clouds were actually evaporated by the heat from the pillars of flame that arched behind the band, dancing like some hellish version of the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas.
Arena veterans at this stage, the Bay Area punks know exactly how to thrill an audience. The setlist was tastefully sprinkled with offerings from their latest platter, Revolution Radio; and it was impressive to see that songs like the epic ‘Still Breathing’ and the delicate ‘Ordinary World’ already stand toe–to–toe with fan favourites like ‘Basket Case’, ‘Hitching A Ride’, ‘Know Your Enemy’, and ‘Boulevard Of Broken Dreams’ in the singalong stakes.
Audience interaction has always been an important aspect of the band’s live experience and tonight is no exception. Kids are dragged up onstage early doors and the microphone is passed around generously throughout. One lucky fan goes home with a guitar, and special mention must be made of the young fan brought up to sing the final verse and chorus of the band’s breakthrough 1994 hit, ‘Longview’.
Not only did she nail the vocal, but she did it while commandeering the stage like a pro; initiating call and response chants with the crowd, jumping off drum risers, and generally rocking out like she owned the place. We can only hope that she’s gone home to start her own band and to make some serious plans for her next attempt to take the throne.
“King for a day, princess by dawn,” indeed.
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