Concert Review: Revolution Radio Green Day Summer Tour

Time of Your Life

By Rachel DeBoe

In January of 2017, Green Day announced the Revolution Radio summer tour. Of course, fans of the band bought their tickets hurriedly, but it wouldn’t be until August when they would get their money’s worth.

I saw Green Day on August 11 in Kansas City, Missouri.

And, yeah. I definitely got more than what I paid for.

My entourage arrived at the venue and made our way to our second level seats. Although it was so far from the stage, we still had a good view. However, all that changed when a venue worker approached us, asking if we’d like to be on the floor in general admission.

As we were on our way to the floor, I heard the undeniable sound of Van McCann, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the opening band, Catfish and the Bottlemen. The song was “Cocoon,” and I made it to the floor just as the second verse was ending.

Watching their set from the floor was remarkable. Although most of the crowd was unfamiliar with the music, the band’s energy was high, their talent shining through.

During “Soundcheck,” the third song of their five-track-long set, lead guitarist Johnny Bond thrilled the audience with a piercing solo, bringing live music fans to their knees.

For the final song in their all too short set, “Tyrants,” drummer Bob Hall and bassist Benji Blakeway did an incredible job of slowly dragging the song to it’s hesitant end. I found myself holding my breath in anxious anticipation for the final chords while simultaneously hoping it would never end.

One of the boys in my posse gushed about how great Catfish and the Bottlemen were as I rolled my eyes (I’d told him to listen to them months ago!) and eagerly waited for Green Day. There was a buzz among the crowd as old and young fans alike prepared for the upcoming spectacle.

It wasn’t a long wait.

Before long, singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong was on stage, engaging the audience and starting the captivating track, “Know Your Enemy.” Clapping, dancing, screaming, and singing along was the entire crowd. Drummer Tré Cool kept heads nodding and arms waving with the steady beat. For the bridge, Armstrong invited a child who couldn’t have been any older than eight up on stage. He recited every word, earning a big hug from the impressed frontman and taking a dive off the stage.

The next poignant moment came during “Holiday.” As he waved the spotlight over the crowd, Armstrong repeated his current mantra:

“No racism! No sexism! No homophobia!”

Finally, ‘the representative of Kansas City had the floor,’ and the crowd chanted the familiar lyrics to the hard hitting track.

An excited (probably drunk?) male fan was invited to the stage to sing the bridge of “Longview,” but before he did so, he was sure to wrap Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt into passionate hugs. The fan was efficient at getting all of us in the crowd jumping, obviously amusing Armstrong.

During “Minority,” the singer was given a pride flag, which he happily wrapped around his mic and sauntered around the stage with, resulting in the crowd’s admiration.

As per usual, the band played a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge” and allowed a sixteen year old fan to play the guitar for the song.

In what was my personal favorite performance of their set, “Still Breathing” was played. The emotional track had several audience members undeniable leaving their hearts and tears in the performance for a truly out-of-body experience.

The encore opened with “American Idiot” and excited the crowd for the final stretch of songs. During “Jesus of Suburbia,” I sang every word alongside a woman who did the same. I had never seen her before and we will likely never meet again, but for those eight minutes, we were one.

Finally, an acoustic version of “21 Guns” was played, leaking into “Good Riddance,” which was the final song.

After the show ended and we made our way out of the venue - even with my lack of a fully functioning voice - I chatted up my friends with how good of a time I’d had. The smile wouldn’t leave my face.

Simply put, the Revolution Radio Tour is sure to have true fans of live music exhilarated.