February 9, 2017 Green Day Invades Paris, France 2-3-17
Morphing over the years from Nimrods to Basketcases, American Idiots to Revolution(ary) Radio gods, Green Day have become one of the biggest Rock bands in the world. Initially a straight up Punk Rock act, Green Day’s biggest breakthrough into the mainstream came with their 1994 album Dookie. The start of superstardom, since then, they have won five Grammy Awards, made VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” sold albums in the multi-millions, and became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. So, where do they go from there? Apparently up, with the release of their 2016 album, Revolution Radio, their first to hit number one in various countries since 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown.
In honor of the new album, Green Day launched the Revolution Radio Tour back on September 26th in the USA, traveling across the country through October before wrapping up the tour with two west coast dates in December. Now, in 2017, the band invade the European continent for the first time since their 99 Revolutions Tour back in 2013.
The official third leg of the Revolution Radio run, it all began on January 10th in Turin, Italy before heading toward Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Netherland, and Belgium. Then, with only four shows left, Green Day arrived in Paris, France on Friday, February 3rd. One of the most anticipated live shows of the year 2017 for the City of Lights, Parisians welcome the American trio to the stage of the AccorHotels Arena with support from follow punkers The Interrupters.
One of the city’s largest indoor venues, AccorHotels Arena has hosted everyone from Rammstein to The Cure. Now ready to get wild with some Punk laced Rock, Los Angeles’ The Interrupters were first to the stage. A Ska Punk band, they are comprised of the three brothers Bivona – Kevin (vocals/guitar) along with twins Justin (bass) and Jesse (drums), as well as Vocalist Aimee Interrupter.
Six years into their career and the quartet have already toured with such Punk luminaries as Rancid, The Transplants, Bad Religion, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, and have also been involved with Tim Armstrong’s Tim Timebomb and Friends project. Having released 2014’s eponymous The Interrupters, and most recently, 2016’s Say It Out Loud, The Interrupters were amped for the opportunity to tour Europe with Green Day.
That in mind, The Interrupters were determined to leave a lasting impression on the assembled French. Performing in front of a simple banner proclaiming their name in large letters, they opened with the upbeat ska of “A Friend Like Me,” then launched immediately into such original tracks as anthemic sing-along “By My Side” and pure ska beat of “White Noise.” The political “Take Back The Power,” fun “She Got Arrested,” and bass-heavy dancer “This Is the New Sound” kept the crowd on their feet.
As the set began to wind down, the band tackled the gang-vocals of “Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” and the ode to an alcoholic friend, “Jenny Drinks.” Their energetic and rambunctious set came to a close with a solid cover of Operation Ivy’s “Sound System” and the original track “Family.” Now, with the Green Day tour concluded, The Interrupters set out on some solo shows from now through February 11th in the UK, so check them out.
On to the main attraction, the headliners Green Day, who require little introduction. With a career that spans thirty-one years and counting, Green Day are to Pop Punk what The Beatles or Elvis Presley are to Rock-n-Roll. A quartet from the East Bay area of California, the band have twelve studio albums to their credit, countless tours across the globe, all while influencing a new breed and single-handedly creating the sub-genre of Pop Punk. Above all, they know how to put on a show and their night in Paris would be no different.
At 8 PM, the AccorHotels Arena in Paris descended into darkness. A hush fell over the anxious crowd as Ennio Morricone’s theme to the 1966 Sergio Leone film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly filled the PA system. As the elation became palpable throughout the arena, Green Day took to the stage and quickly launched into their set opener, “Know Your Enemy” off their 21st Century Breakdown disc.
The band – the core of which has always been Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool – took to the stage in Paris for more than two hours of madness. No less than twenty-eight tracks from the band’s lengthy oeuvre were presented this evening. They moved from their opener into “Bang Bang” and “Revolution Radio” to hits from their ground-breaking Rock Opera, American Idiot. Some of those included “Holiday” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” both which brought out seemingly every cellphone in the arena before they moved into “St. Jimmy,” “Letterbomb,” and “Are We the Waiting.”
Representing the band’s breakthrough, Dookie, were the popular earlier hits “Longview” – in which Billie Joe brought a female fan up onstage to sing the lead – “When I Come Around,” “She,” “Basketcase,” and “Burnout.” Not to be overlooked, the set also contained 1997’s Nimrod songs “King For A Day,” “Hitchin’ a Ride,” and “Scattered.” In addition, 2000’s Warning was put on display with “Minority” and “Waiting,” while only “2000 Light Years Away” off 1995’s Insomniac made the list.
Naturally, Revolution Radio contributed the additional cuts “Still Breathing,” “Youngblood,” and “Forever Now.” Through it all, strangely enough, 2012’s ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! were not represented, while the pivotal Insomniac and 21st Century Breakdown were decidedly underrepresented.
Delivering a solid mix of songs, matching their on stage presence, the set contained surprises as well. Among them included the fan who was brought onstage to perform with the band, a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge,” as well as a medley of such classics as the Isley Brothers’ “Shout,” Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” Monty Python‘s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” as well as The Beatles’ stunner “Hey Jude.” The medley provided the perfect opportunity for a sing-along and the crowd was elated to witness Green Day in such stellar form. In turn, Green Day ate up the crowd’s enthusiasm and gifted Paris with not one, but two encores on this night.
Outspoken with their views, Armstrong and company soon led the crowd in cheers of “Fuck you Trump” before launching into their first encore, which included the American Idiot favorites “American Idiot” and “Jesus of Suburbia.” Their second encore dished out Revolution Radio‘s “Ordinary World” and the apropos closer, and perhaps Green Day’s best known single, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”
Green Day were no less than amazing and completely on-point for the duration of their lengthy set. A night no one will forget, fans were given ample opportunities to sing-along, dance, and enjoy the time they had to spend with these American idiots, nay, American treasures. Giving every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears, Green Day delivered an impressive performance that is sure to resonate with attendees for many years to come. Paris aime Green Day!
Photo credit Michela Cuccagna