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On 2 February 2017 Green Day performed in Forest National in Brussels to promote their latest album called Revolution Radio. Since the venue is rather small – Forest National can hold about 8000 people – the concert was completely sold out in fewer than fifteen minutes. The Belgian fans’ enthusiastic response to the band’s long-awaited return to their country proved to be justified after the show ended. Green Day are back, and they want you to know it!
Singer Billie Joe Armstrong already did the unimaginable at the very start of the show: he was able to make his audience of stubborn, reserved Belgians jump up from their seats and eager to sing along. In general, Belgians prefer to quietly enjoy a show while seated. We are often not very keen to spontaneously cheer, sing or jump to the beat, and if it does happen, it is usually only a small part of the audience that does so. Armstrong perfectly managed to genuinely excite the audience from the start, though. This might very well be due to the fact that the pace at which the tickets had sold out made sure only the biggest fans were able to attend the show.
The lead singer also managed to keep the fans just as excited until the end of the concert. He did so by bearing in mind the most important rule for a successful show: enough interaction with the audience. Rather simple aids were used such as stagediving, T-shirt guns, soaking the attendees with a water hose and Armstrong’s typical eh-ohs he makes the audience repeat after him again and again, but the band also used other techniques which are not as common in other concerts. For example, in the middle of a song Armstrong asked a volunteer from the audience to take over as he admitted to having forgotten his own lyrics. The song was eventually finished by both the lead singer and the lucky volunteer. A guitar player picked from the audience got a chance to show her musical abilities on stage later that night as well, after which she was allowed to take the band’s guitar home.
There is not much to be said about the music itself, since the band was musically excellent as usual. Green Day is one of those bands of which it is difficult to claim that they sound better on record than live. Instrumentally, they sound at least as good live, as well as vocally. They also do not forget to perform more than just a collection of their greatest hits and consequently avoid playing a similar setlist at each tour. They played a song from almost every album: from the popular CDs Dookie and American Idiot to the somewhat less successful Warning and 21st Century Breakdown, and many more. The tracks chosen to be performed from that album were varied as well. The band played some songs which everyone knew and are played at every concert – after all, what would a Green Day concert be without the genius Jesus of Suburbia or the magnificent Good Riddance – but they also performed some slightly lesser-known songs to which only the biggest fans could sing along.
What is remarkable about a Green Day concert as well, is the band’s ability to give an memorable performance without deviating too much from the basic formula of a simple concert. Lady Gaga’s concerts are unforgettable because of her eccentric costumes, you will remember Slipknot for a while due to their rather controversial performances, and the many acrobatic stunts make a show by P!nk worth reliving. A Green Day concert might not include any of those things, but the band does not actually need them either. Because of their infectious enthusiasm and abundant amount of energy, the band members succeed in performing a show which is definitely worth attending and to which you will pleasantly look back upon for a long time. Once a Green Day concert ends, you immediately realise why there is next to no difference in price between seats and pitch standing: whether you have managed to obtain a seat or not, you will be standing up throughout the whole show. That is how infectious their enthusiasm is.
Revolution Radio Tour – Green Day
2 uur – 2.5 hours
Forest National, 2017