"This isn’t a political party, this is a celebration!"
A celebration it was, Sunday night at Riverbend for Green Day’s Revolution Radio World Tour. Generations of listeners from young teens to music veterans flooded the lawn and pavilion to see Billie Joe, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool take the stage to bring their favorite songs to life. As someone who attempted to start a band many years ago called The Basket Cases, I was excited to finally see Green Day live but wasn’t sure what to expect. Let me tell you, they delivered.
The stage lights flashed on as Green Day rushed the stage playing Know Your Enemy.
Running left and right to pump up the crowd, they were backed up by chutes of pyro. Lights flashed and banners fell as they performed songs throughout their discography, appealing to both old school fans and brand-new fans.
"I'm tired of this political bull shit. Throw it in the river tonight," exclaimed Billie Joe. Green Day was here to have a good time and to let loose from current events surrounding the United States. Mike Dirnt and Billie Joe utilized every bit of the stage to interact with the crowd as Tre Cool made his quirky faces while drumming away. Every song ending brought a roar of reactions like it was their last song. Lucky for us, the show continued.
Bringing crowd participation to an entirely different level, Billie Joe brought up 3 different fans throughout the night. Just a song or two into the show, a woman was brought onto the stage to sing Bang Bang. She knew every word and owned the stage. As her time came to an end, she blew a kiss to Tre Cool, hugged Mike Dirnt, then dove into the crowd for an epic surf.
Next, we meet the fan fittingly and proudly wearing a Dookie shirt. Hopping on stage, he runs right up to Billie Joe for a hug. He grabs the mic and performs Longview like he had been a part of the band for years. In a way, he has been, we all have been. Dookie released in 1994 and Green Day fans have been singing along through the years ever since.
Our final surprise guest and probably my favorite moment of the night was Sadie, a 11-year old girl who has been playing the guitar for two years now. With no hesitation, Billie Joe hands her his guitar and quickly teaches her the 3 chords to play Knowledge. After a few practice strums, her sound was amplified and the crowd roared. You could see she was focused and in absolute awe. The crowd started to chant her name. Sadie, Sadie, Sadie! I stood there blown away at how incredible this experience was for her and how excited the crowd was for someone they didn’t even know. Her debut came to an end but not before Billie Joe tells Sadie she can keep the guitar. Her jaw dropped and the two embraced in a hug.
The celebration continued with Basket Case, a solo kick-line by Tre Cool and a battle between a Sax and a Kazoo. Through the madness, Billie Joe finds himself laying on the floor singing a mix of Shout, Satisfaction, Hey Jude and sharing with the crowd that life may suck but “If you hold onto it, life can get pretty beautiful.”
Although the show was sprinkled with instances of the crowd being asked to sing “hey-ho” and wave their arms, it never seemed to get old. Billie Joe continuously called on the crowd as if to make sure we were all still in this together. And we were. The show continued with I’m Still Breathing and Forever Now.
The Finale was a treat in itself. Green Day saved some of the best for last playing American Idiot and Jesus of Suburbia. The crowd was jumping and singing passionately along. Transitioning to the final song, they started 21 Guns acoustically then led with the final song of the night, Time Of Your Life, and a huge boom of confetti. A perfect ending to a high-octane show.