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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Photo by Angela Christaldi ’17

Green Day brings  ‘Revolution Radio’ tour to the Tower Theater


Green Day’s return to Philly kicked off as un-glamorously as possible for the thousands of fans who descended upon Upper Darby’s Tower Theater on Thursday, Sept. 29.

A will-call only show, ticketless crowds were forced to wait outside in the cold and rain, and as 9 p.m. inched closer, people grew concerned that they wouldn’t even get to see the show.

I stood in the serpentine line for about two hours, and the thought of abandoning all hope crossed my mind several times. However, there was a flicker of hope within that no rain or annoying fellow line-waiters could extinguish.

I waited, I got rained on, and my perseverance paid off: I was in my seat by 9:05 p.m., and by some miracle, Green Day hadn’t yet taken the stage. While the ticketing situation was more than poorly handled, the hours of waiting the 3,000 fans endured would soon become worth it.

The usual ambient music that plays before concerts gave way to Queen’s 1975 hit “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and the atmosphere changed palpably. Fans began cheering and singing, almost as if this was the main event. “Bohemian Rhapsody” faded into The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and a person in a pink rabbit suit (rumored for years to be the band’s drummer, Tré Cool) came prancing onto the stage, signaling that the show was finally about to begin.

The rabbit disappeared, and a few minutes later, Green Day took the stage to screams from an audience that had clearly been long awaiting their return. Exploding into the title track of their soon-to-be-released album “Revolution Radio” (Oct. 7), Green Day proved that they’re just as good—if not better—than they were in their prime. They kept the energy up with their newest songs, following that up with “Bang Bang,” the first single from the upcoming album.

After kicking things off with their newest material, the band went back into their catalogue, playing songs from almost every album they’ve released in their 26-year recording history. Only their trio of albums from 2012 and their original 1990 album “39/Smooth” went unrepresented.

Over their two-hour plus set, Green Day played hit after hit to a screaming, exuberant audience. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong commanded the crowd; it was as if he had cast a spell over them as soon as he stepped onto the stage for the first time.

Toward the end of the show, Armstrong brought politics into the picture, reminding everyone that “We have to be inclusive in here,” and urging the crowd to vote… But not for Republican candidate Donald Trump. Armstrong’s strongest message? “No racism. No sexism. No homophobia.”

The band’s set came to a close with “Minority,” from their 2000 release “Warning.”

Following a long and loud standing ovation, the band returned to the stage for their encore, which consisted of “American Idiot” and the nine-minute, five-segment mini-rock opera “Jesus of Suburbia.” Most bands would end the show after playing such a complex song, but Armstrong was unstoppable. He grabbed an acoustic guitar and launched into “Ordinary People,” another song from the upcoming “Revolution Radio” before ending the show (for real this time) with a moving performance of the perennial favorite, “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life).”

Despite the band’s past drug scandals and festival-related controversies, the energy they brought to the Tower Theater on Thursday night was electric. For a band whose members are in their mid-40s, they still know how to rock, and rock they did: At one point during the show, dust rained down from the rafters, and a piece of the ceiling fell onto the stage. Bassist Mike Dirnt nimbly avoided the fallout, prompting Armstrong to shout, “Welcome to a Green Day show!”

Anyone who says Green Day is past their prime is clearly wrong. They’ve still got it, and they’re more than amazing. They’re perfect.

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