Review: Green Day at Usana

Yesterday was one Monday that ended with a bang at Usana Amphitheater, something that Mondays rarely do. Punk rock favorite Green Day turned out for a memorable night in Salt Lake.

The show opened with a tribute to Queen and the Ramones before Green Day blew onto the stage. Mike Dirnt on bass, Tre Cool on drums, and Bill Joe Armstrong vocals and guitar. The concert is part of a tour promoting their new album Revolution Radio. They played a few songs from that album, including “Bang Bang” and “Youngblood” that got the crowd jumping.

The sprawling amphitheater was packed with old and new fans, gathered together to celebrate Green Day. The concert had enough songs to promote their new album and still pay tribute to the “old, old-school” Green Day fans, some who have been following them since the band’s 1986 inception. They also played some of their radio favorites like “Holiday,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “When I Come Around” for the entire crowd.

Green Day was interactive with the fans, but people seldom get pulled up on stage anymore and crowd surfing just doesn’t happen. Concert security likes to project a Liam Neeson vibe with crowd-control skills they practiced over long careers. Skills that make them nightmares for rabble rousers. They will look for you, they will find you and they will boot you. And that’s no fun for anyone.

That’s how mosh pits get ruined, people.

But Billie Joe Armstrong broke the rules. He pulled some excited and emotional people onto the stage, including one kid who didn’t hesitate to jump into the crowd. (Jealous.) The fans played, sung, and had a good time on stage with the band. It was cool to see band-crowd interaction like that—it doesn’t happen much any more. To the girl overwhelmed and crying and that super excited boy—you’re all of us in proximity to famous people.

Unfortunately, politics were also brought in the concert. Tolerance and inclusion, good. Trump, bad. Opinions are best brought to a concert within the music. Concerts are the few times people can come together with no divisions.

Politics aside, front man Billie Joe managed to bring all of his fans together,  from casual observers to die-hards who still listen to albums long since passed. Green Days list was a good mix of old, really old, and new. Every elementary punk kid’s dream.

It was a solid concert—a good end to a bad Monday.

Fellow SLmag contributor and photographer Charissa Che photographed the entire event. The opening picture belongs to her. Check out her collection here.

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