Green Day performing their Revolution Radio Tour at Sheffield Arena on Monday 3rd July 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

It has been more than thirty years since Green Day burst on to the punk scene, and sold a staggering 85 million records but with their punk now somewhat watered down, it was a packed crowd at the Sheffield Arena who turned out to see what Green Day are all about.

Whilst the band have always had a political undercurrent, none more so than now with front man, Billie Joe Armstrong’s fervent feelings about the current President of the United States, they bounded onto the stage and launched into Know Your Enemy, and got an audience member up on stage to sing the last verse.

Lead vocalist Armstrong, drummer Tre Cool and bassist Mike Dirnt haven’t aged a bit since their formative years. Whilst Cool flaunted his elaborate turquoise Mohican as he hit the drums; Dirnt’s iconic bleached blonde hair was in contrast to Armstrong’s jet black mop and all black uniform as the trio gave a blistering performance for two and a half hours and displayed a master class in stagecraft and showmanship.

There were songs from their latest album, Revolution Radio, released last year such as Bang Bang and Young Blood and the response to those songs, including the title track showed that this was not simply a night for nostalgia. Demanding “joy, love and passion and English voices all night long”, the band was not disappointed.

Armstrong has a mesmerising stage presence, with his facial expressions tied to his near Olympic level of jumping around as he led on such classics as Long View, When I Come Around, Welcome To Paradise and Basket Case; all from their 1994 Dookie album. Holiday and Letterbomb from the bands 2004 protest album, American Idiot were also revisited as they induced a mass sing along, and during Operation Ivy’s Knowledge, a fan was brought on to the stage to play a guitar which he was allowed to keep.

A particular highlight began with touring band member, Jason Freese’s saxophone solo which kicked of a medley of The Isley Brothers Shout, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones, Monty Pythons’ Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life and The Beatles Hey Jude which warranted the appearance of countless phone flashlights.

Normal service was resumed with sing along Still Breathing which prompted a sea of swaying hands before the main set was brought to a close with fans favourite Forever Now. Green Day played four encore songs beginning with American Idiot during which Armstrong, always one to be political, inserted a timely “Fuck You, Donald Trump”. He managed to conjure up an intimate moment amid thousands of the bands adoring fans with a nostalgic and much calmer acoustic classic, Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life).

Last night’s performance showed that Green Day are still a tour de force and after decades, it didn’t feel strained. Is the band cheesy, of course it is. Are they stage managed; maybe. But with every note perfect what Green Day are in bucketfuls is great entertainment.