Green Day - LG Arena Birmingham 28th October 2009

I've just witnessed one of the best gigs of my life.

..first up was Prima Donna - a kind of modern Hanoi Rocks I guess.. not bad, not bad at all...I can't tell you any tracks they played or how long they were on for because frankly the two and half hours that followed them were a blur and must have wiped my mind..

The Green Day live experience is not simply a gig, it's a cross between a theatrical show and the best party you've ever been to. Before they came on stage we were treated to the Drunk Bunny - a six foot tall, pink, drunk bunny who drank a couple of beers and guided us through a version of YMCA. Now THAT's how to start a gig. (you tube "Green Day Bunny" you're bound to find something).

We had a huge light rig, pyrotechnics by the bucketload, walls of flame, water pistols, tee-shirt cannons, a superb, ever changing backdrop, costume changes and lots of singalong stuff.  Members of  the crowd were constantly being pulled up onstage and asked to sing and take part and then stage dive back into the crowd. The guy who did Longview was superb, although his feet-first jump back into the crowd was a little scary and the whole band winced. You were not safe even right at the back of the arena as one guy was picked out and "crowd surfed" all the way to the stage and then back again.

Billie Joe had done his homework too - throwing in a few riffs from Brummie boys Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. (we had Highway to Hell and Teenage Kicks too). This guy is a powerhouse frontman, no question about it, he just seems to relish the response he gets by wearing something he's grabbed from the crowd or by playing a snippet of a riff and getting the response back from the crowd.

Then of course there was the music - which was exceptional. Billie Joe has a fantastic live vocal - the guy can still keep in tune whilst wresting a girl dressed in a mexican wrestlers mask (she brought it with her I guess) .. in fact the whole band (plus aditional ensemble)  played effortlessly, note perfect and still appeared to have the time of their lives...I certainly did. Gig of the year - no question...NR

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