Where: The O2 Arena, London
Californian ska-punk band The Interrupters have been plucked from a plethora of bands swirling around the stratosphere who would be desperate to open for Green Day, tongues lolling, mouth drooling like begging, adoring puppy dogs; but not all have got the gumption to fill those shoes. Luckily, the upbeat quartet are pleasantly sharp, brazen and fun, wrapping up a cut-throat punk edge in fluffy, smiley ska melodies which lift spirits and blasts the night open.
This trio are no strangers to turbulence. They’ve faced being snubbed by their punk scene, criticised for album flops and public rehab stints, so each time they return with another massive tour, they’ve got another massive point to prove.
Tonight, as they headline London’s gargantuan O2 Arena, there’s a jittery excitement, an anticipation so palpable you can taste it in the air; this, for some reason, feels like it’s about to be one of the biggest Green Day shows UK fans have ever seen.
With a setlist that spans their whole career- neatly side-stepping the previous trio of albums that, like us, they probably pretend never happened- we’re reminded just how much of a spectacular impact this band have made over the past three decades. We’re taken on a mind-boggling journey, transported back to the punk clubs of Kerplunk with spunky love song ‘2000 Light Years Away’; swept up in the sensational razzle dazzle of Dookie’s glory days with ‘When I Come Around’; and reminded of Warning’s darker days with ‘Waiting’.
Of course, some numbers don’t need any rummaging through the depths of our nostalgia to recall, particularly when the likes of ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Holiday’ readily ignite the same fiery passion as they did over ten years ago, as the world finds itself in almost an identical situation. There isn’t too much political angst; instead, we opt for compassion and unity, especially when the band pull a disabled fan on stage to play along to Operation Ivy cover ‘Knowledge’ and Billie Joe lets them keep the guitar. It’s a soft, sentimental moment in a time of discomfort and fear, a welcome reminder that we’re the ones with the real power here.
A dizzying set sees the band play for almost three hours, stretching from explosive fireworks, delicate sing-a-longs, call-and-response playfulness and a bunch of new songs (particular highlights come from latest album’s lead single ‘Bang Bang’ and bouncy gem ‘Still Breathing’). Even the finale is a mixed bag, leaping from insane punk opera ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ to the classic ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’.
Whatever Green Day came here to prove tonight, they left the stage once again cementing their place as one of our favourite stadium punk bands- because yes, thanks to Green Day, that’s a thing.