“Is George Bush still an asshole?” This and a few
other inquiries were part of the barrage of political defamation
that accompanied Green Day’s show Saturday at Cobo Hall.
Although their anti-Bush stance is widely known, Green Day lead
singer Billie Joe Armstrong took shots at the whole governmental
system rather than the recently re-elected president.
Coming out on stage to their latest protest song,
“American Idiot,” the crowd roared with an
overwhelming approval. “That song means so much more to me
now than it did four days ago,” Armstrong said, making
reference to Tuesday’s election.
Politics aside, the event was packed with pyrotechnic onslaught,
that would make Whitesnake blush and crowd participation that could
rival the Big House. Explosions, flashes of light and 20-foot-tall
flames added an interesting touch to the usual punk-rock show.
Green Day’s set list was packed with songs spanning the
band’s 15-year career, including songs off of American Idiot
such as “Holiday” and the widely talked about rock
opera “Jesus of Suburbia.”
Their age seemed to be a negligible factor in their stage
presence. Leaping around with more vertical lift than Richard
Hamilton, guitarist Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt hopped off of
stage monitors, speaker cabinets and drum stands while slinging
songs to the energetic crowd.
At one point in the set the band paused to create a three-man
group composed of fans pulled out of the crowd to play a
simplistically watered-down song. Although it added a creative
aspect to the show, and added a few laughs, it took away from the
overall energy of the band and seemed to be an excuse to give the
band’s tired vocal chords and exhausted muscles a chance to
rest. The fortunate guitarist was allowed to keep the guitar that
he played on-stage.
Closing out their set for the night, the band pulled out a
stunningly powerful rendition of Queen’s “We are the
Champions” along with piano accompaniment. The crowd fed off
of the power-ballad and sang out with all of their hearts as the
band neared its departure. Immediately following the seemingly
never-ending flow of red and white confetti fired out of stage-side
cannons, Armstrong slowly strolled out to the front of the
center-stage walkway and ended the night with a solo performance of
“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”
Their power, humor and enthusiasm make their live show a
must-see for anyone with even an inkling of interest in their