Green Day never fail to impress Grace Duffy
The throng of sopping ‘scene’ children queuing in the rain all day well deserved their spot at the forefront of an exhilarating spectacle as Green Day returned to Dublin. The three-and-a-half-hour show was a veritable juggernaut, enrapturing every one of the innumerable giddily screaming multitudes before it.
Support band Prima Donna, despite sounding like a confused bunch of teenagers trying to figure out which musical direction they’re actually pursuing, are not bad per se. They’re competent enough on their instruments (and eclectic enough to have a saxophonist) to ensure they don’t fall flat before the sold-out crowd and musically come full circle via KISS, The Ramones, and KISS again to keep the hands in the air. That said, it’s difficult to remember them for more than sartorial reasons – although the singer’s leopard print coat would make a fine addition to anyone’s wardrobe.
The headliners rushed giddily onstage at about 9pm to the clamorous delight of the packed arena. Diving headlong into ‘Song of the Century’ and ‘21st Century Breakdown’ from their latest album, the Californian veterans have the entire building on their feet and singing wildly along within minutes. Exploding through a fantastic setlist that mixed a multitude of classics with newer numbers, the band are playful, dynamic, and brilliant. Musically, the bombast is unparalleled – Billie Joe Armstrong’s voice never falters, and the iridescent lighting complements the heaving music perfectly. The former, ever an impressive showman, positively exceeds himself onstage. Charismatic and charming, he pulls several fans onstage throughout the night, allowing one youngster to play the role of the “sacrifice” for recent single ‘East Jesus Nowhere’ and two others to sing the words to vintage classic ‘Longview’.
While it’s been 18 years since Green Day started coming to Dublin, it’s very hard to believe the band have been playing for so long, as there’s certainly no sign of age or lethargy to their music or live show. In fact, they’re better than ever, with a lively and frenetic show that evokes an ear-to-ear smile as much as it does genuine tears. An acoustic version of ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ is positively scintillating, and as Armstrong concludes with a solo guitar medley of ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ and perennial favourite ‘Time of Your Life’, the spellbound atmosphere is almost overwhelming. Memorable and moving, it would take the most iron of wills not to come away from this show breathless.
Green Day played The O2 on 21st October