Green Day

(Originally Published on South Florida Insider)

Punk Rock Veterans Shake Up South Florida – Review of the Green Day Concert at the Coral Sky Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, FL

Story by: Gleb Barabanov

Anybody who listened to the radio in the early 2000’s has heard the name Green Day, and the punk rock legends stopped by the Coral Sky Amphitheater over Labor Day weekend to bring some much needed cheer and excitement to South Florida as it anticipated an unfriendly visit from Irma on the horizon. That Sunday, however, ended up being a perfect day for a concert, with impeccable weather and a great atmosphere.

The North California natives brought along the group Catfish and the Bottlemen along with them on this tour, and it was my first time seeing them. Coming out of Wales, the British rock band reminded me of a mix of Arctic Monkeys and Mars Volta, with catchy rhythms, soulful crooning and funky beats blended with feedback-laced guitar riffs and explosive visuals. The group opened their time on stage with the song Cocoon, which seemed to do a good job of warming up the audience to the mostly-unknown group. They followed with a few songs from their newest album, The Ride, and finished up with Tyrants from their first record. The group did a great job onstage, with a really cool light show playing in the back while the band jammed out, and you could tell the crowd enjoyed the band’s playing even though most of them didn’t know the group.

After Catfish and the Bottlemen departed from the stage, the crew began to run around the stage getting ready for the main act. After a few minutes of excruciating downtime, the stage lights flooded the audience and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” began to play over the loudspeaker as the audience chanted along. As Ennio Marricone’s “The Good The Bad and The Ugly” played in the background, Billie Joe and the rest of Green Day made their way onto the stage and broke into their first song, Know Your Enemy from one of their more recent albums, 21st Century Breakdown. Right away you could tell it wasn’t going to be your typical show at the Amphitheater as a young fan made his way onstage immediately and, after being invited to sing the song with the group, executed a punk-rock classic stage-dive while explosive fireworks and pyrotechnics flanked the band as they played. After a few more songs from their most recent album, Revolution Radio, they proceeded to start making their way through their extensive back catalogue, jamming through hits Letterbomb, Holiday, and Boulevard of Broken Dreams as the crazed congregation assembled in front of them screamed back every word.

The group employed multiple stage set-ups throughout the show, incorporating multiple backdrops into the stage show (one of them, for instance, dropping to reveal an old school Green Day logo while fireworks went off around it as they kicked off one of the songs). And they even invited a fan onstage to take over the microphone for Longview, who of course knew every word and took over the stage like a seasoned rocker. They worked their way through classics from every era of the group, including When I Come Around, Welcome to Paradise, Minority, and even St. Jimmy, during which the group broke into an impromptu jazz solo. A cover of Operation Ivy’s Knowledge even made an appearance, during which the group invited up another fan up from the audience, this time a 16-year-old girl. After a quick lesson in chords, Billie Joe handed off his six-string to the excited fan, and they proceeded to finish off the song with the young devotee filling in on guitar. Since she did such a good job playing the song, Billie even let the girl keep the guitar after song, which must have made her entire year. After a few more songs, including Basket Case during which the last backdrop fell to reveal a large LED screen projecting the Green Day logo, and a medley of Shout, Hey Jude, and I Cant Get No Satisfaction, the band left the stage as the fans screamed for another song. Of course, not being one to disappoint their fans, the group came back for an encore consisting of American Idiot classics Jesus of Suburbia and American Idiot. Not content with playing just once encore, Billie and co. came back and played a stunning two song acoustic encore consisting of 21 Guns and what is arguably their most famous song, Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), finally ending a stunning, 26 song set that brought over two hours of joy to the nearly sold out Coral Sky Amphitheater.