Review – Green Day at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

GREEN DAY

Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

Friday 21st June 2024

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

With the Manchester skies looking reasonably clear overhead – a far cry from Foo Fighters’ opening gig last week – California pop-punk icons Green Day burst onto the stage of Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground last night with a rousing rendition of the anthemic The American Dream Is Killing Me, the lead single from their latest studio album, Saviours, before launching into a mammoth 37-song set that saw the band play their two most celebrated albums, Dookie (1994) and American Idiot (2004), in full, alongside some other perennial fan favourites.

Welcome to the 30th anniversary of Dookie” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong announced to the devoted, 50,000 strong crowd – many of whom have waited some fourteen years to see the band back at the venue, and seven since they were last in Manchester – before Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool (along with touring members Jason White, Kevin Preston, and Coley O’Toole) rocked through the influential album in its entirety for the proceeding 45-minutes.

It was an incredible experience to hear the album played in full (and in order), including the quirky hidden track All by Myself (written and performed by Cool), with many in attendance getting a chance to relive a formative album from their younger years in what proved an exhilarating, nostalgia-filled trip back to the 90s.

The band had to pause the show briefly during Chump, only four songs in, due to a medical emergency in the crowd, which saw the energy dip slightly as the band regained their full momentum, but following a reasonably heavy shower (not forecast!) – after which an incredible double rainbow shone brightly over the venue – things really got going again and the band were quickly back to their charismatic, high energy best.

Following Dookie, we get a few other Green Day classics – including Know Your Enemy and Minority – which have the entire stadium shouting along, before the instantly recognisable crunching guitar riff of American Idiot whisks us firmly into the final section of the evening, with a giant inflatable of the album’s signature heart grenade now ascending above the stage.

For many, American Idiot is one of the greatest albums of the 21st century and the album that first introduced so many new fans to the band, and again it feels incredibly special to hear the iconic concept album played in its entirety, including songs that weren’t even play on the American Idiot Tour back in 2005. From the title track through to Jesus of Suburbia, Holiday, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and Wake Me Up When September Ends – preceded by a short burst of Buzzcocks’ Ever Fallen in Love, paying tribute to Greater Manchester’s punk rock roots – the hour-plus album set is an absolute masterclass in pop-punk composition, crowd engagement and showmanship.

Not quite done yet though, the band return for a raucous encore led by new track Bobby Sox, taken from Saviours, before closing out the show – true to form – with the acoustic classic, Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), with phone lights illuminating the stadium under the dusky summer solstice sky.

The whole evening feels like a euphoric celebration of pop-punk, with the band sounding as strong, fresh and dynamic as they ever have. Armstrong in full voice and sprightly as ever, seemingly never ageing. Dirnt one of the finest bassists of his era and he truly excels during the live shows. Cool – arguably the greatest punk rock drummer of all time – at his full throttle best, with his signature Keith Moon-eque stage presence on full show. There’s fireworks and explosions. Flames shooting out from the stage. Confetti bursting far over the front pit. The crowd in full voice and rocking throughout the epic set.

The Saviors Tour delivers exactly the sort of epic show fans were hoping for, and nobody could have left disappointed. Let’s hope it isn’t another seven years before the band are back in the UK again!



GREEN DAY MANCHESTER SETLIST:

The American Dream Is Killing Me

DOOKIE

Burnout

Having a Blast

Chump

Longview

Welcome to Paradise

Pulling Teeth

Basket Case

She

Sassafras Roots

When I Come Around

Coming Clean

Emenius Sleepus

In the End

F.O.D.

All by Myself

Know Your Enemy

Look Ma, No Brains!

One Eyed Bastard

Dilemma

Minority

Brain Stew

AMERICAN IDIOT

American Idiot

Jesus of Suburbia

Holiday

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Are We the Waiting

St. Jimmy

Give Me Novacaine

She’s a Rebel

Extraordinary Girl

Letterbomb

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Homecoming

Whatsername

ENCORE

Bobby Sox

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

For more information on future tour dates, please visit: greenday.com/

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