Green Day

support All Time Low
author PP date 02/07/13 venue Refshaleøen, Copenhagen, DEN

Refshaleøen is the perfect venue for Copenhell because of its murky, industrial surroundings and an isolated atmosphere. For individual shows like Green Day, not so much. Getting there is a pain in the ass, and getting out is even more difficult. Plus the sound isn't very good for bands that aren't heavy because their sound doesn't travel immersively enough through the air. Tonight, the venue isn't even half full, and I estimate around 5,000 people to be present out of maximum capacity of 12-14,000, 95% of which fall between the ages of 10-15 and 28-40+. Given that this show has been ambitiously scheduled during Roskilde, pretty much the entirety of the demographic 16-28 is missing, a curious sight given how this is the group you'd usually expect to find populating pop punk shows like this one.

All Time Low

All Time Low

Support duties today have fallen on teenage pop punk idols All Time Low, who start in a slightly awkward manner with "Lost In Stereo" receiving high pitch screaming from the girls at the front, while the older peeps at the back are mostly silent. But here's where All Time Low truly excel: mid and in-between song banter. From his first comments of "I think we interrupted nap time.... WAKE THE FUCK UP COPENHAGEN!" to his introduction of the band as 'fuck from USA' in reference to the massive F*CK banner behind them courtesy of Green Day, even us old and jaded people at the back warm up to their utterly stupid and immature attitude to playing, and start, as they say, waking up a little bit. Yes, it's freaking retarded, but it is also entertaining. Maybe I haven't grown up enough, but when their guitarist points at the hill where people are sitting and asks if they are masturbating over there, and that he will be there later naked masturbating as well, I can't help but chuckle a little bit.

All Time Low

At the same time, this is the last day on tour minus a weekend festival for Green Day + All Time Low formation, so the Green Day crew are pulling massive pranks on the band all along. Among other things, they blow air horns into the monitors, shoot toilet paper guns at the band so their drummer gets covered in toilet paper mid song, start hauling their amps and monitors away halfway through the set. It gets so ridiculous that towards the end, Alex can't hold his laughter back during songs and screws up a few catchy chorus sections because he simply bursts out in laughter at the ridiculousness of the whole debacle.

The sound isn't on their side in general tonight, though, so aside from the last few songs, such as the set closer "Dear Maria, Count Me In", the All Time Low set is entertaining, but essentially really shallow.

7

Green Day

Green Day

It's been eight years since I last saw Green Day on tour, and not much at all has changed since. It's still a big style rock production, which mandates that the songs are played in more or less identical order each night, and the same stunts get repeated over and over again. Still, without "Dookie" this magazine wouldn't exist, so feeling a little tinkle inside my body wasn't out of the question even though I knew exactly what I was going in to: a ridiculous amount of crowd control in almost every song. For the first half of the set, nearly all tracks are extended significantly by Billie Joe Armstrong's desire to add in little wooah-hooh shout along parts for different sections of the crowd.

But let's not get ahead of our selves. The banner drops and the light show begins behind the band, blinking GREEN DAY in, err, green LED lights you could probably see up to space. "99 Revolutions" kicks the party off to sing alongs, before "21st Century Breakdown" favorite "Know Your Enemy" blasts from the speakers to get the party started. A small teenage boy is brought along on stage to sing along, before he's commanded to do a stage dive into the crowd. It's a cool feat, which is followed by more crowd control during "Stay The Night", "Stop When The Red Lights Flash" and "Letterbomb", including Billie Joe trying on different hats worn by fans near the front of the stage. It all feels a little superficial and totally fake to an experienced concertgoer: it's just lame to ask the crowd what they want to hear, and then waiting until someone shouts the song next on your setlist ("Hitchin' A Ride"). That is, until it becomes crystal clear what Green Day are doing: they are bunching different eras together and starting with the new stuff, which is why they need to warm up the crowd for the classics festivities later on. And sure enough, the songs are from the triple album, "21st Century Breakdown", and "American Idiot" for the first 11 tracks, where "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" is sung almost entirely by the crowd without Billie's help, followed by equally loud sing alongs for "Wake Me Up When September Ends". These have never been my favorites, although "Murder City" from "21st..." continues to be criminally underrated as a Green Day track geared towards the older generations.

...and here we go. The 90s hit parade is underway, although the crowd is considerably more silent during these songs. "Waiting", for instance, receives a mild if not non-existent response, and "Burnout", one of the greatest tracks by Green Day, only has pockets of people singing along across the crowd. They dig deep into their back catalogue with "2000 Light Years Away" aired from "Kerplunk", and "Hitchin' A Ride" bringing back late 90s memories from "Nimrod" era.

Green Day

When these eras are placed in such stark contrast to one another, it's really easy to see which one triumphs. The radio fans like the newer songs, but don't tell me that "Welcome The Paradise" doesn't sound absolutely fantastic in comparison to, say, the mainstream ballad "Oh Love" or the uninspiring Uno / Dos / Tre tracks. What's better, the crowd control has largely been abandoned for this stage, which to me simply means these songs are better written because they can be delivered pure and clean even to an arena sized audience such as this one. Even when gimmick's do take place, they are funny and/or delivered with class. Right before "When I Come Around", for instance, Mike Dirnt's son is brought on stage to spray the front of the crowd with a super soaker, while Billie Joe is launching t-shirts from a shockingly powerful cannon that shoots almost all the way to the back rows, which he of course aims towards the elevated light controllers halfway through the crowd. "Longview" sees Billie Joe invite a random crowd member - a teenage girl in this case - on stage to play the end of the song on guitar, which she does incredibly well considering she had about 10 seconds time to get used to being on stage for probably the first time in her life. Funnily enough this song is dedicated to All Time Low for all the masturbating comments earlier.

All of this is of course complemented by constant COPENHAGEEEEEEN or DENMAAAARK shouts from Billie Joe mid and in between song; he even wraps himself in a Danish flag during "St. Jimmy" for good measure. The band utilize the entirety of the stage width-wise, and put on a display of great energy, whether in the form of jumps, running across the stage, and just interacting with the crowd for the whole 135 minutes of the set.

Green Day

What started out as me thinking "oh god, why did I come here again" turned out into a great rock show as usual, where the band both looked rejuvenated and genuinely happy to be there. The second half of the set far triumphs over the first half, which seemed to be all about getting the obligatory pop rock crap away and warming up the crowd for the good old material later on. Finally, the band finish with "American Idiot" starting the encore with crazy light show, and "Jesus Of Suburbia" closing off a successful show. This is where it should've ended with a bang, but for some reason they opt to finish with the superfluous and nothingsaying ballad "Brutal Love" from "Tre". Either way, make sure you see a Green Day show near you, they don't show any signs of irrelevancy live just yet.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. 99 Revolutions
  • 2. Know Your Enemy
  • 3. Stay the Night
  • 4. Stop When the Red Lights Flash
  • 5. Letterbomb
  • 6. Oh Love
  • 7. Holiday
  • 8. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  • 9. Stray Heart
  • 10. Wake Me Up When September Ends
  • 11. Murder City
  • 12. Waiting
  • 13. Burnout
  • 14. 2000 Light Years Away
  • 15. Hitchin' a Ride
  • 16. Welcome to Paradise
  • 17. When I Come Around
  • 18. St. Jimmy
  • 19. Longview
  • 20. Basket Case
  • 21. She
  • 22. King for a Day
  • 23. Shout / Always Look on the Bright Side of Life / (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction / Hey Jude medley
  • 24. X-Kid
  • 25. Minority
  • --Encore:--
  • 26. American Idiot
  • 27. Jesus of Suburbia
  • 28. Brutal Love

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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