Photos by: Adam Harrison & Lisa Mark –
Review by: Curtis Sindrey –
Pop-Punk mainstays Green Day ignited a revolution at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton on March 20th.
With a new tour, new album, and healthy frontman, the trio blazed through an enthralling 28-song set, including tracks from their new album, Revolution Radio (out Oct. 7th via Reprise).
The lengthy performance acted as a type of history lesson about the band’s legacy. From standout tracks from their 1991 album, Kerplunk, in the form of “2000 Light Years Away”, and their smash single “Welcome To Paradise”, to their mainstream breakthrough album Dookie with “Basket Case”, and “Longview”, to tracks from the aforementioned new album with the title track, and “Still Breathing”, both old and new fans went home satisfied.
Outspoken frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who completed a successful stint in rehab in 2012 following an explicative-laden outburst at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, railed against everything on this night from internet-obsessed millennials (“If you’re looking at me with your camera, you’re not really looking at me”), to U.S. president Donald Trump “no racism, no homophobia, no Trump.”
He also made a pair of fans’ nights when he invited one up to sing “Welcome To Paradise”, and another to play guitar on the Operation Ivy classic “Knowledge”.
During the latter half of the set, the trio of Armstrong, drummer Tre Cool, and bassist Mike Dirnt, paid tribute to iconic rock and roll artist Chuck Berry, who died on March 18th at the age of 90, with a punk-flavored cover of “Johnny B. Goode”, with Armstrong saying, “If it wasn’t for chuck berry, there would be no [Green Day].”
Just before the encore, fans enjoyed a medley of Isley Brothers classic “Shout”, Monty Python’s “Always Look at the Bright Side of Life”, Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, and medley closer “Hey Jude”, which featured a spine-tingling rendition of the “Na Na Na Na Na” section as the packed arena sang along.
Armstrong capped off the set on an intimate note with Revolution Radio cut “Ordinary World” as a solo acoustic effort, followed by fan favourite track “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”.
Openers Against Me played a blistering 11-song set, which mostly featured tracks from their newest album, Shape Shift With Me, including “333”, “Delicate, Petite & Other Things I’ll Never Be”, and “Haunting, Haunted, Haunts”, which lead singer Laura Jane Grace said was about “living with ghosts”.
Despite the short set, the quartet, which consists of Grace, guitarist James Bowman, bassist Inge Johansson, and drummer Atom Willard, whose credentials include stints with Rocket From The Crypt, The Offspring, Social Distortion, and Angels And Airwaves, left no room for the crowd to breathe in the best way possible.