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Oct 14, 201602:29 PMCulture

Fun and Culture in the Mid-State

Green Day in Upper Darby

Oct 14, 2016 - 02:29 PM
Green Day in Upper Darby

Green Day didn’t give anyone much time to process the surreal fact that they’d be doing a worldwide club tour.

On September 6, when they announced that they’d be kicking things off only three weeks later in St. Louis, I think everyone was surprised by the short timeframe. In August, they released the single “Bang Bang” and announced an album release date set for October 7, so anyone could’ve guessed that there would be a tour eventually but not so soon.

Even more surprising were the venues they chose to play. I browsed the tour dates to see which cities they would visit, and at first glance it, seemed like a normal tour, but a closer look revealed that this wasn’t the tour you would expect from Green Day. Not a single stadium would be hosting the famous trio. Even with only a three weeks’ notice, they could easily fill a venue with the capacity of more than 10,000, yet their stops all held a range between 1,500 and 5,000 people. Fans were probably thrilled about a more intimate setting yet terrified that they may not get a ticket.

The evening of the Tower Theatre show was a wet, rainy, windy day in Upper Darby, yet people sporting ponchos and holding umbrellas stood for blocks in each direction to wait for their will-call tickets. Security was strict, which is understandable, but there were four or five different check points to walk through to have your wristbands, tickets or bags checked. It was also a sold-out show, which made it a little chaotic getting through the doors, but everyone there would admit it was worth it.

Once inside, I started to look around to admire the venue, but my attention was quickly drawn to the people instead. This was the most diverse crowd I’d ever seen at a concert. There we’re people who had been fans since the release of their debut album in 1989 as well as kids who hadn’t been born until this century. The room was flooded with stories of favorite songs, best albums, reminiscences of past shows and anticipation of this one. I couldn’t tell who was more excited, those who had already seen Green Day before or those who never had.

It was near 9:30 p.m. before they cued the lights for the band to come to the stage. Then the moment arrived, when we got to see if Green Day could still rock a show after more than 25 years of being together as a band.

The stage was still dark when front man Billie Joe Armstrong ran out across the stage shouting to the crowd and waving his arms. The rest of the band followed suit in taking their places. Armstrong shouted to the crowd for applause.  Next thing you know, he got right into the first song.

They started with their single “Bang Bang” and continued the night with a series of old and new songs. Armstrong connected with the crowd on a level that showed he had experience but still loved what he did after so many years of being a musician. Not a dull moment during this show, especially with the crowd surfing, jumping and singing from the audience. Green Day has been known to allow fans on stage in the past, and this night was no exception. Twice, Armstrong invited individuals on stage to sing with him and then jump off stage back into the crowd, experiences they will surely never forget.

The majority of the show had high energy and flashing lights with some of their hit songs such as “King for A Day” and “American Idiot.”  During their second encore, as people slowly trickled out, they slowed it down with two acoustic performances to end the night.

Their music had a way of taking the rowdy crowd and making them pause to listen and pay attention to the softer songs as well.  This show lacked nothing, it was a wild night for everyone, and it only created more anticipation to hear the new album, Revolution Radio, which was released last week.

Check out the photos here.

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