Green Day rocks Minneapolis and St. Paul

Billie Joe Armstrong ignites crowd’s passion

Max Bechtold

Last Saturday night, the 30-year-old punk rock band from California, Green Day, ran onto the stage at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong opened the concert with a message, screaming “No racism, no sexism, no homophobia.”

The nearly three-hour concert was emphasized by intense lighting, colors, pyrotechnics, explosions and heavy crowd participation. Green Day played songs from both classic and new albums, such as “Basket Case” from the 1994 album, “Dookie,” and “Bang Bang” from the 2016 album, “Revolution Radio”.

The main highlight of Green Day’s concert wasn’t just the music and singing, but Armstrong’s ability to fire up the crowd. Lights flashed queuing the crowd to shout, sing along, or participate during an important part of the song. During the band’s performance of “American Idiot”, the audience sang the entire chorus while Armstrong held the microphone to the crowd. His ability to excite and unify people made the concert feel as though he wasn’t singing to the crowd, but with the crowd.

The crowd participation wouldn’t be so prominent without Armstrong’s message to them about human unification. At the beginning of the concert, Armstrong said the show isn’t about whether people are liberal or conservative, but that they are human. He also said that the government is trying to make them fight each other, and that people need to stay united in peace and love. Shortly thereafter, Armstrong said age shouldn’t affect people’s rights, and neither does gender, sexuality, or background.

Numerous tributes were made throughout the concert, such as a tribute to the LGBTQ+ community in the middle of the concert. Green Day saxophonist Jason Freese ran to the center of the stage and performed a saxophone solo, during which he made a tribute to George Michael’s death in December 2016 by playing “Careless Whisper”. The electric sign which read “Green Day” flashed in rainbow colors while Freese performed.

During the concert, the audience celebrated with each other regardless of differences in their age, gender, sexuality, religion or ethnicity. The feeling of unity opposed to hatred made Green Day’s performance more outstanding than any other.