Green Day rocks Mohegan Sun

A review of Green Day at the Mohegan Sun Arena on April 6, 2103

, Editor-in-Chief

After postponing their tour at the end of 2012 for frontman Billy Joe Armstrong entrance into rehab, Green Day has returned to the road. On Saturday, the alt-rock veterans hit Connecticut for a sold out performance at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.

Of course, given his recent turmoils, the spotlight for most fans was on Armstrong. Not only did he appear healthy as ever, his spirits were clearly high as the crowd showered him with love. One of the night’s most poignant moments came after a vociferous sing-along of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” that left Armstrong bowing to the crowd, saying, “life isn’t pretty but it sure is beautiful.”

For Amstrong and his bandmates bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool, that beauty is clearly evident in the kinship they share with their devoted following. Back on the stage, the commanding frontman worked the crowd with ease and a renewed vigor. The frequent – and thus tiresome – call and answer of “Hey, Ohhh” was his rallying cry as he had the crowd in the palm of his hand for the whole show.

With a setlist that covered all points of their deep catalogue over the course of 2 1/2 hours, the sing-alongs were plentiful. Despite touring in support of their trilogy of 2012 releases ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!, Green Day primarily delivered material from their best albums, 1994’s Dookie and 2004’s American Idiot. On a basic endstage with simple lighting, the band was a sonic force. Armstong, Dirnt and  Cool were aided throughout the night by touring guitarist Jason White and on their more recent songs by multi-instrumentalist Jason Freese and backing vocalist/guitarist Jeff Matika.

“99 Revolutions” kicked the show off and served as the first of only handful of new songs the band would play. The new material came early in the night – “Stay the Night”, “Stop When the Red Lights Flash” and “Oh Love” – each extended and sounding stronger live with the crowd eating up the big choruses. Among the other early highlights were the fist-pumping “Holiday” and “Burnout”. Midway through the main set, Green Day took requests and to the delight of long time fans, reached back to old favorites “F.O.D.” and “2000 Light Years Away”.

It was hard to find fault with the lengthy and energetic show but there were a couple of missteps. After “Brain Stew”, Armstrong dumped his guitar for a trio of props: a hose, toilet-paper blower and t-shirt cannon. Three items never needed at a rock show but shenanigans the band has come to be known for. The ska-fueled “King For A Day” was fun but as it flowed into a dragging cover of The Isley Brothers’ classic “Shout” with choruses from several classic rock gems tagged on, the show began to lose its momentum. Also of note, was the band’s usual shtick of a drunken bunny stumbling across the stage before the band’s set started. It’s been done for years, and though funny, seemed a bit out of place this time around given Armstrong’s recent history.

That said, when the band was hitting on all cylinders as they did for most of the night, they were on fire. A rocking run through “St. Jimmy” was followed by a stretch of Dookie classics – “When I Come Around”, “Longview”, “Basket Case” and “She” – was blast of energy, sending the crowd into frantic.

Following main set closer “Minority”, Green Day returned for a three-song encore. Starting with “American Idiot”, they charged on with the thrilling epic “Jesus of Suburbia” before bring the night to a close in a more relaxed fashion with the new tune “Brutal Love”.

Opening the show was Best Coast. The fellow Californians delivered a swift set of their sunny surf pop favorites including “Crazy for You”, “The Only Place” and “When I’m with You”. They’ll be return to New England later this summer for a headlining show of their own at Boston’s Royale on June 6.

Setlist
1.  99 Revolutions
2.  Know Your Enemy
3.  Stay the Night
4.  Stop When the Red Lights Flash
5.  Letterbomb
6.  Oh Love
7.  Holiday
8.  Boulevard of Broken Dreams
9.  Burnout
10. Coming Clean
11. F.O.D.
12. 2000 Light Years Away
13. Hitchin’ a Ride
14. Brain Stew
15. St. Jimmy
16. When I Come Around
17. Longview
18. Basket Case
19. She
20. King for a Day
21. Shout
22. X-Kid
23. Minority
   Encore
24. American Idiot
25. Jesus of Suburbia
26. Brutal Love

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