Friday, September 8, 2017

CONCERT REVIEW: Green Day (9.3.17)

Photos: Jen Cray @
Green Day
Coral Sky Amphitheater
West Palm Beach, Florida

After discovering a menagerie
of exciting new bands on the
recent 2017 Vans Warped Tour,
it was fun to get out and revisit
an old time classic rock act.

It was a bona fide barn burner — 20,000 strong — faithful fans of all ages, jammed like sardines into what I believe is (this week) known as The Coral Sky Amphitheater. And as the chart-busting headliner hit the steamy stage at 8pm, a pungent fragrance of ripe, sweaty ass mixed with the alluring aroma of mid-grade dope permeated the famed South Florida outdoor concert venue. Rock and roll!

What separates Green Day from the host of post-grunge era clowns who choked is, they have songs — timeless, catchy, hit songs  and LOTS of 'em. Hence, tonight's event proved to be a spectacular, high-energy, Simmons-caliber production.

Mike Dirnt
Pastor / frontman / songwriter, Billie Joe Armstrong, began preaching from his pulpit posthaste. In a true-blue, ultra-pretentious, Springsteen-style fashion, the 45-year-old pop / rock poster boy demanded the attention of his adoring fans. "I know you paid a lot of money for these tickets," he conceded. "But you don't get to sit down. So get your asses up!" Armstrong's pontificating continued ad nauseam — ultimately distracting from the musical experience. And after enduring just the first hour of his enlightening perspectives, it became unclear with whom he was even arguing. Of course, you're "for" love and vehemently against racism, sexism and homophobia. Duh! Isn't (almost) everybody?

Billie Joe Armstrong
Preachiness aside, the Green Day "bang for the buck" factor was impressive, indeed. The spectacular-looking walls of sparkling white flames rolling down the back of the gigantic stage further enhanced the effect of red-hot flash pods and other ear-splitting pyrotechnics that were detonated throughout the show. The two-hour set also provided a career-spanning cavalcade-o-hits — one brimming with all the suspected signature staples, as well as deep cuts from the band's pre-corporate Kerplunk era and a fistful of fan faves from the acclaimed 2016 Revolution Radio record. A surprise highlight was the Vegas-style classic rock medley that included sing-along snippets from The Beatles and The Stones

In sum, the Green Day concert oozed undeniable "WOW" factor. Rock star bassist Mike Dirnt and superhero drummer Tré Cool were both amazing, while sidemen Jason White (lead guitar), Jeff Matika (rhythm guitar) and Jason Freese (keyboards, sax) all performed masterfully — adding enormous additional value and completing a rock solid combo. #BangForTheBuck

-Christopher Long
(September 2017)

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