Published on theMusic.com.au, May 2017
Drawing on nostalgic ’90s skate punk vibes, SoCal force The Interrupters had everyone ready to Take Back The Power as they rolled through an eclectic set of instant hits.
With bass so chunky you could almost take a bite out of it, a refreshing dose of ska was unleashed with She Got Arrested and This Is The New Sound, all delivered with a husky charm from vocalist Aimee Allen screaming with ear-piercing precision between gritty, uplifting melodies.
The Interrupters proved they were one of the most fun bands you’ll see live. Punk is alive and well.
“This is not a fucking tea party, this is a fucking rock’n’roll party, baby!” Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong screamed between fireworks and the infectious chorus lines of Know Your Enemy.
It was an opening of finale execution and saw the entire room yelling along and bouncing in time, ending with a young punter pulled from the audience to sing the final chorus.
The energy in the room transformed it into a sauna, amplified by overwhelming pyrotechnics for new singles Bang Bang and Revolution Radio. As soon as Holiday kicked in the insane production stopped, suggesting the new songs still need training wheels to stand up against the classics.
“No racism, no sexism, no homophobia, and no Donald Trump,” Armstrong pleaded through the darkness before unveiling an Aussie flag and rounding out the song with bassist Mike Dirnt by his side, trudging through heavy bass lines.
Green Day’s fourth member, Jason White, strummed away for an intimate rendition of Boulevard Of Broken Dreams that had the entire room echoing the lyrics in one of the show’s most powerful moments – despite Armstrong leading a corny “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” chant to break the atmosphere.
For many, the energetic vocalist was a god-like figure so when he called a punter out for filming (“It’s fucking destroying our lives.”) it became a new testament and a sea of lights slowly flickered off. A short-lived pleasantry done away with when Dirnt joined Tre Cool on the drum riser for the rolling intro of ’94 hit Longview.
“Real old school fans” were treated to Kerplunk‘s 2000 Light Years Away, another high point of the evening but not received as well – perhaps why Armstrong doused the first few rows with a hose and then tried to do away with punters in the nosebleed section Maude Flanders-style with a T-shirt gun.
Punk mainstay Jason Freese consumed the spotlight with a sax solo into to Operation Ivy’s Knowledge, which meant one lucky audience member would soon be plucked from the crowd to join the band on stage to play guitar.
The 16-year-old who volunteered may have exaggerated her credentials in order to get close to her idols, with Armstrong needing to assist throughout – a smart move that scored her a guitar and moment she’ll never forget.
Many a voice was torn to shreds during the nostalgic smorgasbord that was Basket Case and She back-to-back, and then the night’s boldest number unfolded in the flamboyant King For A Day.
Still Breathing heavily after the insane burst of energy, Armstrong had little time to regroup before returning to the runway in a denim jacket and screaming his lungs out during Forever Now and American Idiot, leading into a theatrical finale in Jesus Of Suburbia and touching solo performance of Ordinary World and Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).
“Tonight is about unity,” Armstrong pleaded earlier in the evening, and by the set’s end, Green Day had achieved that, no doubt changing a few lives in the process with a powerful performance.