Are you ready for the revolution? Green Day are currently touring through Europe with their Revolution Radio Tour in support of their latest album and damn, boy, what a riot it is! In Cologne, the punk rockers played a 2,5 hours set with songs from all of their albums (except for Uno, Dos, Tré) in front of 18,000 people – from the 1992 track “2000 Light Years Away” to the newest single “Still Breathing”.
When Green Day opened the show with their hits “Know The Enemy”, “Bang Bang”, “Revolution Radio” and “Holiday”, the crowd went completely crazy and quickly became one head banging, moshing human soup. Needless to say that the outspoken Punk trio made sure to engage the audience with more than their music during the show. With chants of “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” during “Bang Bang” or by repeatedly reminding the audience that it is our social responsibility to help those in need, Billie, Mike and Tré showed that Green Day will stay relevant. No matter how old they are, how long they’ve been in the music business, how successful they are or if they are denounced as “mainstream punk” by critics, Green Day know where they come from and they damn well know their place in (music) history.
Still, the show in Cologne showed that the band is astonishingly approachable. Three times during the show, fans were allowed on stage to perform with them. My personal highlight was the boy Diego who was brought on stage to play the guitar to the Operation Ivy cover “Knowledge”. He rocked the arena Billie Joe Armstrong himself gave him the guitar after the song. To say that he was completely blown away by what had just happened is an understatement.
Much respect to Billie Joe who is such a great entertainer! He partied on stage like there’s no tomorrow: he put on accessories thrown at him from the crowd like a huge German flag or a funny head band, launched shirts into the crowd and drenched the front row in water with a hosepipe. It was so much fun to watch him enjoy doing his “job” up on stage. “King For A Day” was the climax of all hilariousness with him wearing a police hat and a crown during the performance.
Of course, Green Day still had some time in their set for the quiet moments. During “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, “Are We The Waiting” and the two acoustic tracks “Ordinary World” and “Good Riddance”, the whole arena was lit up by smartphone flashlights. It was truly a sight to behold. Especially their performance of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” was a magical moment. Everyone sang the lyrics as loud as they could. Even though the crowd’s reaction can’t be new to them, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool and Billie Joe Armstrong were visibly touched by the great response.
My personal highlights: The epic “Forever Now” and “Jesus of Suburbia”. Both songs are just incredible. Their studio versions are already extraordinary, but seeing Green Day performing them live is such a great experience. It’s Rock ‘n’ Roll in its purest form! Their current song “Still Breathing” was another emotional moment during the set. Billie Joe sings the very personal lyrics with so much heart and soul. You can feel that the song means the world to him. Green Day closed the set with a beautiful acoustic rendition of “Ordinary World” and “Good Riddance” while confetti rained down on the awestruck audience. Honestly, nothing can beat the surge of happiness when you witness the performance of such beautiful songs while confetti rains down on you!
All in all the show was definitely one of the best I’ve been to. There were just so many little things that added to the whole experience: the likable personality of the band members, the high entertainment factor, the diverse setlist, the great audience which rocked out without being egotistical dicks and the great production. Still, I would have enjoyed some more tracks from their new record on the setlist – I mean, it is called the “Revolution Radio Tour”, right? How awesome would’ve been “Say Goodbye” or “Bouncing Off The Walls” live? And why did they ignore their material from the trilogy? “Stop when the red lights flash”, “Oh Love”, “Let Yourself Go” or “Nuclear Family” are killer tracks especially when performed live. I guess it’s pretty hard, next to impossible, to play the perfect Green Day setlist. They just have too many good songs! I’m really curious to see if they change the setlist a bit for their second leg of the tour starting in June.
I also wasn’t really a big fan of the explosions, cause some of it was so damn loud that I almost got a heart attack when they shot their load (pun intended). A little too much “bang, bang” for my liking, if you know what I mean… It was also pretty scary when a young girl went into some dehydrated state of shock right in front of me. Really, kids, don’t forget to drink during shows!
In conclusion: if Green Day play a show close by, get your ass over there! You wouldn’t wanna miss it.