“Tonight, it’s just us for a few hours. So put down those cell phones and take it all in,” an enthusiastic Billie Joe Armstrong exclaimed to a sold out crowd of 3,700 fans at the Hollywood Palladium. This seems to just about sum up the magical night of October 17th, 2016.
Age and time seems to have no limit to Green Day, who are currently on a break from “Revolution Radio” Tour. Soon, the tour will continue to large arenas worldwide. However, for the first part of this tour, the band played a series of dates in small, club-like settings. This was to compliment their latest Billboard #1 album, which has been described by critics as back to the roots, pure Green Day. With these intimate shows, fans got the true Green Day experience. The band grew up and built themselves a fan base with these small shows in the early 90’s, and attempted to relive those days with these shows. I was fortunate enough to score a ticket to the show in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago.
From the moment Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool stepped onto the stage, breaking out into their 2009 single “Know Your Enemy,” to the emotional finish with “Good Riddance,” the show was one hundred percent on point. Although over the age of 40 and having just released their twelfth album, the band looked right in their prime. Each song was played with the intensity and energy only Green Day could muster, with Billie singing into the mic and moving around the stage while playing his guitar, Mike delivering flawless bass lines on “Holiday” and “Longview”, and Tre going insane on the drums. One thing is for certain: age certainly hasn’t taken a toll on these three men.
Just as the band hasn’t seemed to have lost any energy by aging, they haven’t lost any interest in politics and current events. Their latest album, appropriately titled “Revolution Radio”, picks up right where “21st Century Breakdown” left off; examining social chaos and in justice in the modern world. Armstrong was not afraid to address these issues during the show. Towards the end, he proclaimed, “No racism, no sexism, no homophobia”! This slogan was also sold on an official tour shirt inside the venue. A few songs before, he brought attention the issue of climate change and California’s drought. While addressing the fact the band was from Oakland (Northern California), and the show being in Los Angeles (Southern California), Billie pointed out that we are one state, and had better come together before we don’t have a place to call home anymore. The frontman also encouraged his fans to vote in the upcoming election, and warned of the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency.
That being said, what truly made this show special was the fans, also known as “Idiot Nation”. One of the special things about Green Day is the diversity of their fan base. Usually, when you go to a concert, you see one dominant demographic among the crowd. Definitely not the case with this band. People from all walks of life and differing ages, races, personalities, fashions, and interests were all in attendance. However, once the concert started, all differences were set aside. It was all headbanging, moshing, and crowd surfing to the music we all love and grew up to. Perhaps even more impressive was the geographic diversity. While waiting in line, I had conversations with people from Maryland, Utah, Texas, and Washington who made the trek to Los Angeles to see this show. That alone speaks for itself, showing how much of an impact Green Day has had on so many different people.
The most exciting part of all of this is that Green Day is far from done: I believe they are still in their prime. After their short break, Green Day will hit Europe on January 10th. After a couple months overseas, they will return to United States on March 1st with a Phoenix date, resuming their tour all over the country until April 8th. After that, rumor has it that they’ll headline Coachella! Wherever you are, I highly recommend buying a ticket to see Green Day in concert. If you can, buy a general admission ticket on the floor. You won’t regret it.
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