REVIEW: Rockers warm-up for Reading & Leeds with awesome 30-song set...
Having smashed the Emirates Stadium attendance record earlier this summer, tickets to see Green Day at the 5,000-capacity Brixton Academy were the hottest in town.
This weekend they headline the mighty Reading & Leeds Festivals, but by the end of this incredible warm-up gig frontman Billie Joe Armstrong admitted "I think this is better".
Feeling: After a great support set from Frank Turner, you really could feel the excitement.
At 8:30 the lights go down and Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody blasts out in full, with this packed crowd singing every word. And this is followed by Ramones anthem Blitzkrieg Bop and the band's stumbling pink bunny who gees up fans even more.
When Green Day finally hit the stage, Brixton Academy erupts and the pandemonium begins.
Look: No backdrop, no visuals – just their white skull on one black amp.
But Billie Joe more than made up for it throughout their set, rocking random items (many given to him by fans) including a red attenna headband, funky shades, a green Union Jack flag, a black bowler hat and a shiny red cowboy hat as well as a policeman's cap and tie.
Tunes: Green Day opened with 99 Revolultions off their latest album ¡Tré! and from then on barely stopped for breath. Green Day's energy was crazy.
During their second song Know Your Enemy, Billie Joe pulled out a teenage lad near the front, gave him a hug to calm his shock and let him sing before encouraging him to jump into the crowd to surf during the final chorus! It was an amazing moment.
Nine tracks in, BJ reminded everyone that 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of their mainstream breakthrough Dookie and they would now play their third record in all its glory, delighting fans.
Banter: There was phenomenal atmosphere inside Brixton Academy because of one man. "Let's go crazy!" and "Heeeeey oooooh!" Billie Joe yelled again and again, but he always got the reaction he wanted.
During Letterbomb he ranted ("I'm f**king sick of hate and f**king prejudice") and compared his addictions, referencing his recent spell in rehab by saying he had "just come off f**king drugs". While it's happening you can't help thinking back to his mad on-stage meltdown in Las Vegas only last September.
Sweat Factor: If you tried to spot a t-shirt which wasn't soaking wet with sweat you'd have failed miserably. Thankfully BJ brought his hose to spray the front row with water and fired towels up high into Brixton's seated circle (not that anyone was sitting).
Summary: Nearly two-and-a-half hours of pure Green Day with Billie Joe back to his brilliant best, stomping around the stage like he had been possessed by the rock devil.
If Biffy Clyro are nervous about topping the bill at Reading for the first time, perhaps the Scottish trio shouldn't watch Green Day's performance on Friday night. They will be awesome.
Green Day setlist:
Know Your Enemy
Stay the Night
Stop When the Red Lights Flash
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Let Yourself Go
Wake Me Up When September Ends
Having a Blast
Welcome to Paradise
When I Come Around
In the End
Jesus of Suburbia
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
Full review at MTV UK: HERE