Review by: Christine Dano
Opening the evening for the Grammy award winning Green Day, was the British punk rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen. New to some, however highly popular with the younger crowd in attendance, these four young musicians filled the amphitheater with smoke and energy setting the scene for the crowd, who already was primed, to see their favorites, Green Day.
Oakland based punk and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Green Day, graced western New York’s Darien Lake Amphitheater, Saturday, August 20 with the summer stretch of the Rev-Rad Tour.
Band members Billie Joe Armstrong (lead vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bassist), and Tre’ Cool (drummer) were joined by Jason White (guitar) and Jason Freese (keyboards, accordion, and saxophone). While Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” played, the audience sang along in unison; you could feel the excitement and energy through the venue.
Green Day immediately had fans screaming and to their feet as they took the stage with “Know Your Enemy” and “Bang Bang” leading straight into “Holiday” and his decree about Nazis, racism, and sexism and his dislike of Donald Trump. He was then quoted as saying “This night isn’t going to be about politics, just fun,” and it was clear to all present that he got the message across that maybe the best medicine against hatred is joy and unity.
Armstrong is indeed quite the showman, to him there was no barrier between the rock legends and the simple fan. He invited one teenage girl on stage to sing “Know Your Enemy” sending her back to her spot with a swan dive into the crowd. He soon thereafter invited an 11 year old boy on stage to sing the lyrics to “Longview,” and immediately followed that performance with a 15-year-old girl as she played guitar on Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge,” giving her the instrument to keep as she exited.
Green Day did not disappoint fans reaching far back into their catalog with Kerplunk, playing “2000 Light Years Away,” right up to ending the two and half hour setlist with songs from their newest album Revolution Radio, playing “Still Breathing” and “Forever Now.” The group then returned on stage for an encore of “American Idiot,” and “Jesus of Suburbia” off their concept album and highly acclaimed “Punk Rock Opera” American Idiot.
Ending this incredible evening Armstrong played an acoustic version of “21 Guns” then right into “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” and yes Billie Joe this audience indeed had the time of their lives.