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Concert Reviews:
Green Day comes around in style for Fillmore make-up date

Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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DETROIT -- Green Day made good on the Sept. 24 Fillmore Detroit show it postponed due to an illness that affected the band and crew and delayed the start of it's current theater tour.

On Monday night, Oct. 24, all concerned clearly felt better. And the exuberant crowd that packed the Fillmore left feeling just great.

It's a treat to see Green Day, period; More than two dozen years since its first album and 22 years beyond its multi-platinum breakthrough with "Dookie," the punk trio from San Francisco's East Bay packs more sheer, joyful entertainment value into its shows than any guitar-slinging group this side of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. Seeing it in a small venue like the Fillmore is a whole other trip, however, a barely-hinged celebration that felt like a clandestine teen pool party while the parents are on vacation.

There was precious little slow-down during Green Day's two hours and 15 minutes on stage Monday as the group ripped through a career-spanning 29-song set of what frontman Billie Joe Armstrong called "unity music" for a an all-ages crowd -- pre-adolescents to middle-aged punk enthusiasts -- that sang along to early fare such as "Private Ale," "Christie Road," and "J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)" with the same gusto it belted out hits like "Longview," "Basket Case," "Welcome To Paradise" and "American Idiot." There was plenty of crowd surfing and a few mosh pits broke out on the Fillmore floor, and Green Day fed off the energy, though with nary a reference to the postponement.

Armstrong was the night's ringleader, of course. A bit less manic at 44 than he was in the past, the guitarist -- with his jet-black hair, eyeliner and maniacal grin -- conducted the Fillmore fans through singalong and call-and-response rituals, and before the opening "Enemy" was over he had a youth onstage, helping lead everyone through the final salutation before sending him stage-diving into open arms. Later on Armstrong brought a young woman on stage to sing the last verse of "Longview" while he filmed her on her cell phone -- and then sent her, too, sailing off the stage into the crowd.

The songs from Green Day's new "Revolution Radio" meshed well with the rest of the repertoire, even the particularly poppy "Still Breathing." "King For a Day" was its usual schticky fun, with the six onstage musicians sporting hats and masks and rolling through a medley of the Isley Brothers' "Shout," the Who's "The Kids Are Alright," the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and a bit of the Beatles' "Hey Jude." The smooth "Waiting" was neatly paired with "We Are the Waiting," while suite-like epics such as "St. Jimmy," "Forever Now" and "Jesus Of Suburbia" let Green Day flash some precision instrumental chops that belied any idea that this is "just" a punk band.

Armstrong finished the night with a calm after the storm, with just his acoustic guitar as he sang the new "Ordinary World" and the smash "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)," the latter to a sea of cell phones. Green Day will be back to play larger environs next year -- March 27 at Joe Louis Arena, specifically -- and it will certainly be a welcome return after Monday's incendiary visit.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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