The 99 Revolutions tour had come to England. This wasn’t the UK tour which was promised but instead a stand alone date at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. I was attending this mammoth 6 hour gig with my sister. After having attended the Shepherd’s Bush Empire show last August we fully knew that to be anywhere near the front you would need to show up early. So at 9.30am we both arrived outside our gate to see people wearing green wristbands. The green wristbands were issued to people that had been camping out overnight. The queuing was actually kind of fun as I met two Green Day fans in the queue who we got chatting to. While the experience was enjoyable it got rather stressful when it had approached 4pm as they were gearing up for when the gates opened. It turned out that everyone with a wristband were going to be let in before normal ticket holders despite the fact people were told that wristbands were to be handed out inside. In the end everyone was let in. The person in front of me had a bag which he didn’t choose to open before hand. Behind me were people who just wanted to get in as other ticket holders were filtering through the other turnstiles. Once inside I ran down the steps (trying not to fall down them) then went straight inside the Golden circle. The best I could do was get 2nd row and it was also good that my sister and I didn’t get separated when trying to find the best spot. Supporting Green Day you had All Time Low who got the crowd worked up (they even got everyone surging forward trying to get to the barrier) then after you had Kaiser Chiefs who sang an enjoyable hit packed set.
The epic 2 and a half hour show began with The Ramones Blitzkrieg Bop serving as the introduction. The pink bunny took the stage and left by the time the theme tune to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly started to play. When Green Day took to the stage the crowd erupted with cheers. “London, England” Billie Joe Armstrong shouted out before they started to play 99 Revolutions which appears on the ¡Tre! which is the final LP of the trilogy. The crowd were going crazy. 99 Revolutions was infectious and the melody was very up tempo. This was delivered with plenty of gusto. “Let’s go crazy” Armstrong said nearing the end of the song and that is exactly is what happened. “Do you know your enemy?” Billie Joe then shouted out before the only song on the set which was taken from 21st Century Breakdown and this being Know Your Enemy. This crowd most certainly were participating with the hey ohs during this song. One lucky fan who was wearing a blue Union Jack body suit was then hoisted onto the stage and shared vocals with Billie Joe . The guy then took a run up and jumped, then crowd surfed. Know Your Enemy was delivered strongly and it was an excellent performance of the song. “We love you England” Armstrong said after they delivered this tune to perfection.“Ladies and Gentlemen. Tonight we’re going to play all night long” Billie Joe said before they all launched into Stay The Night. This was the 2nd song off the album ¡Uno! It was very energetic and it went down well with the packed crowd. Even though this was a rock song the verses and chorus I found to be rather beautiful. Stop When The Red Lights Flash then followed on and this being both contagious and very energetic. In fact it appeared in the CSI episode which only featured the bands music. “Out of sight, out of mind/ Just give in, 1,2,3, GO!/ I’ll make you surrender”. Following on was Letterbomb and I really adored its verses which resulted in lots of people singing along. This was an up tempo tune which sounded completely flawless. It was plain to see that this was a fan favourite. It also had highly addictive verses and a fantastic chorus.
It was then onto the lead single from ¡Uno! And this being Oh Love. This was a mid tempo rock song which was simply incredible. Its lyrics were tremendous and it was delivered to perfection. “Oh Love, oh love/ Won’t you rain on me tonight?/ Oh life, oh life/ Please don’t pass me by/ Don’t stop, don’t stop/ Don’t stop when the red lights flash/ Oh ride, free ride/ Won’t you take me close to you”. Up next was the singable Holiday which was taken from the album American Idiot. The verses and chorus were delivered strongly. “Am I crazy or is this the greatest thing in the fucking world right now” Billie Joe said in the middle of this contagious number. I liked the middle 8 when Armstrong said “The representative of England” which was packed with plenty of power. It was then onto another song taken from the LP American Idiot and this being Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. This song was catchy and it turned out to be a massive sing along. The tune sounded gentle then it had parts which were extremely powerful. “I fucking love this country. Jesus Christ” Billie Joe then said after every one in the crowd sang the first portion of this number. During the middle of Boulevard a young boy wearing a Green Day T Shirt took to the stage holding up a piece of paper which displayed Green Day rocks. Stray Heart was then up next and this song you feel obliged to sing along to. It actually had a pop punk feel to it which worked wonders. This was delivered at a fast pace and had lyrics which were easy on the ear. It was most definitely one that can get you moving. “Everything that I want, I want it from you/ But I just cant have you/ Everything that I need, I need it from you/ But I just cant have you”. Following on was Nice Guys Finish Last which featured in the film Varsity Blues and was the 5th and final single taken from Nimrod. This was a powerful pop punk number which oozed plenty of energy and was delivered sublimely. The chorus was utterly infectious. The uptempo Waiting was up next and everyone was singing along to this infectious tune. Both lyrics and chorus were amazing. I last heard this performed live at the Wembley Stadium show. For parts of this Billie Joe Armstrong just let the crowd sing the song while he played the chords on the guitar. “I told you we were going to play all night long” Armstrong then said as soon as Waiting was over. It was then onto a debut and this being Missing You taken from the final album of the trilogy. This was one amazing song which was delivered strongly. I found Missing You to be both energetic and addictive as well. The song itself was played at a furious pace aided by lyrics which everyone sang along to. “I’m missing you/ I’m missing you/ You’re not around and I’m a complete disaster/ I’m missing you”. What was next was the fast paced Burnout. This track was blitzed through and everyone was singing along to every single word. “I’m not growing up, I’m just burning out”. Burnout which features on Dookie is a song that I love. Other than being delivered at a fast pace this tune had memorable verses/ chorus you just want to sing along to. It was then onto another first and this being Sassafras Roots. For this Billie Joe was playing Blue for this tune which featured on the Dookie album. “We love you England” Armstrong said during this number. Sassafras Roots had lyrics that just embed itself into your head. It was belted out and was delivered with plenty of energy. I remember singing this song on Green Day Rock Band on the Playstation 3. As soon as the opening chords for Hitchin’ A Ride started to play the crowd went crazy. Like every song which was performed everyone sang along to every single word. During the song Billie Joe tried to get the crowd worked up by getting everyone to chant. “That’s why this is the best fucking country in the world” Armstrong said after controlling the crowds applause like a music conductor. As for Hitchin’ A Ride this song had sublime verses and a fantastic chorus. I really liked the riffs of this tune which were a lot heavier compared to what had been played. Welcome To Paradise again featured on Dookie and just hearing it live was outstanding. A lot of power flowed from it plus it was infectious and it was delivered at a furious pace. Welcome To Paradise had some really impressive guitar riffs and it was a right crowd pleaser. For Longview Billie Joe called for someone to come to the stage to sing the final verse of this incredible number. Longview was a song that you just want to sing along to and it sounds like it is a continuation of Welcome To Paradise “Bite my lip and close my eyes/ Take me away to paradise/ I’m so damn bored I’m going blind/ And I smell like shit”. Once over the fan did a stage dive into the packed crowd. Going To Pasalacqua was next to be played and this was only the 2nd time I had heard it performed live and it was a right cracker. It went down well with the crowd and even Billie Joe said “Let’s go fucking crazy” and that is exactly what happened.
Operation Ivy cover Knowledge was up next and this featured on the Slappy EP. This was simply amazing. Towards the end Billie Joe Armstrong called on a girl to play the guitar for the remainder of the song and she did an incredible job with continuously playing just 3 chords. Before St. Jimmy Billie Joe sprayed everyone with water using a water cannon, fired a gun which dispensed toilet paper onto everyone within the golden circle and he also fired a lot of T Shirts into the crowd. St Jimmy was a fast paced infectious number which everyone sang and went wild for. “You know my fucking name” Armstrong said then dropping the mic on the floor. Now what Billie Joe said was just an ad libbed line to American Idiot track St Jimmy. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote When I Come Around after breaking up with his girlfriend, Adrienne Nesser (whom he later married). Now this is one of my many favourite Green Day songs. I adored the lyrics which are straight to the point and you can clearly picture what is happening in your head. Basket Case was next and this was a firm favourite of mine. I adored this song. Firstly it was delivered at a fast pace and secondly it is extremely infectious. You are compelled to sing along to it which everyone did. She then followed on and this was yet again another sing along. One line “Scream at me until my ears bleed” was rather fitting because when the night was over I had a ringing in my ears which lasted until the next day. The jolly King For A Day was then followed by the Shout Medley which included songs such as (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction / Teenage Kicks and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. This mash up went down well with the packed crowd and even the pink bunny joined them on stage. The penultimate trilogy song was X-Kid which was taken from the 3rd LP. This was the first time I had witnessed it live and it was packed with a punch. It was contagious and powerful at the same time. You can tell that everything was put into it. “Bombs away!/ Here goes nothing, the shouting’s over/ Hey X-Kid, bombs away!/ Here goes nothing, the shouting’s over and out/ Over and out…”.
Another major sing along followed and this was for the closing number Minority. This song was the perfect way to end. Everyone clapped along plus it was a real crowd pleaser. Towards the end Billie Joe showed off his harmonica playing skills. “Thank you very much for coming out tonight” Armstrong said before introducing the whole band. Everyone then left the stage only to return for a 3 song encore. American Idiot was the 1st song of the encore. It also saw a wall of death. There was complete pandemonium when this song was played and everyone was singing this along to this powerful number. The song then stopped and Armstrong urged everyone to spread out for the wall of death. It was then onto something truly epic and this being the 9 minute long Jesus Of Surburbia. This has to be my favourite track from the album American Idiot. Everyone around me was singing along while going crazy. The fantastic set ended with the opening track to ¡Tre!. This being Brutal Love and this wasn’t your typical Green Day song. Yes the lyrics were faultless but this was a sombre ballad with luscious lyrics that you want to sing and swoon along to.
Know Your Enemy
Stay The Night
Stop When The Red Lights Flash
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
Nice Guys Finish Last
Hitchin’ A Ride
Welcome To Paradise
Going To Pasalacqua
Knowledge (Operation Ivy cover)
When I Come Around
King for a Day
Shout Medley w/ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction / Teenage Kicks / Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
Jesus Of Suburbia
OVERALL: It may of been slightly stressful when waiting for the turnstiles opened but everything turned out to be good in the end. Standing 6 straight hours may seem like an awful long time but when you are witnessing incredible music being played live the time just seems to fly by. Supporting you had All Time Low whom I really enjoyed and they knew how to work the crowd. It was annoying that they urged everyone to start a mosh pit. I didn’t really liked being jam packed into a confined area for 5 hours. Kaiser Chiefs were entertaining when playing a greatest hits packed set. I definitely would want to see them perform live again.
As for Green Day this 30 song set was like a roller coaster ride. The set they played was simply epic plus the UK got the first live performance of Missing You. It was also good to hear songs such as Sassafras Roots, Waiting, Nice Guys Finish Last and Burnout. All of which were phenomenal tunes. Just witnessing them has made me look forward to when they perform at Reading and hopefully they will be back towards the end of 2013.