A Glorious Green Summer Day - BST Hyde Park

A Glorious Green Summer Day - BST Hyde Park

by jessicajolly / Jul 08, 2017 / 0 comments
Date: 
Saturday, 1 July 2017

For those interested in the roots of pop-punk and how it has transpired, a more perfectly curated lineup is difficult to imagine. The day started with Stiff Little Fingers, long heralded as one of Billy Joe’s biggest influences. The legends were allotted a mere 30 mins, but the band did the best set possible within that constraint, pleasing long time admirers and showing the kids who turned up early to grab a good spot for Green Day what finger-snapping punk athems sounded like 40 years ago.

Next, the Great Oak stage featured The Damned, their allegiance to goth attire not hindered by the mid-summer sun. The gig seemed to be a bit of a joke for the 80s rock stars, who took jabs at other artists on the BST lineup. They clearly weren’t thrilled with the early booking and minuscule set length, but they performed their hits and few newer tunes at the top of their ability. Of course a dark club saturated in spilled beer would suit their music more, but hearing these tunes while lying in the grass with an iced beverage balancing between you and your loved one is still incredibly satisfying. A couple of fist pumps towards the heavens and you’re still a punk in my mind.

The lineup didn’t progress chronologically, but jumped 20 years to The Hives and Gogol Bordello before going back to the 90s with a blistering set from Rancid. The Swedish indie rockers brought out all the showmanship they are known for, but the constant banter proved to be a bit tedious for a day filled with musical greats. Next up Gogol Bordello made it all about the music, with their gypsy punk fitting into the theme beautifully. I first saw the band in 2005 in the basement of a New York Greek restaurant, then again a few years later as they progressed into stardom at Coachella. The group hasn’t lost an ounce of their East Village edge. It’s a whole stage full of unique sounds and sex appeal, they are a must see for fans of any genre.

Before the headliners, tour-mates Rancid graced Hyde Park with their pure, ragey punk rock. Time has not been kind to Tim Armstrong’s face, but don’t let the photos fool you into thinking they’ve lost any anger or ability. Their fans may have a reputation for hooliganism, but if you witness the hug fest smack in the middle of the mosh pit while everyone sings “If I fall back down, you’re gonna pick me back up again”, you’ll realise the hardcore scene is bit more complex than that.

The day’s lineup was so enthralling, my only complaint is that I didn’t have enough time to check out what was on the other stages. When I passed by the Summer Stage to use the facilities or grab some food, it always offering face-peeling punk rock, but I always had to rush back to The Great Oak to see who was next. My only other quibble is that each act was far too short, in order to give Green Day their 2 and a half hour headline slot. I was a bit grumpy about this during the afternoon, I figured the Billy, Mike, and Trey could give up 30 mins so each of the earlier bands could do another song. Did Green Day really need 150 mins of stage time? I pondered this until the main act finally arrived. The answer was: THEY MOST CERTAINLY DID.

I’ve been in love with Green Day since I first saw their boyish faces on MTV in 1994, I can recall the friend’s living room I was sat in as Billy Joe snarled up at the camera in “Basketcase” and my pubescent body froze in a melee of funny feelings. Like every insecure tween in America, I felt a kinship with the three boys who were as eccentric as I was but not afraid to hide it. There were eras between then and now in which it wasn’t cool to love Green Day… the were pop, not punk, their allure was more in their image than their musicianship. Watching these men tear up the stage in Hyde Park on Saturday proved all of that was bullocks. They’ve taken the fierce anger and sound that Stiff Little Fingers created 40 years ago and turned it into blissful pop tunes and a show that lifts the audience into punk rock ethos of individuality and strength.

The 150 minutes were filled with songs old and new, featuring a cut from nearly every album in the catalog over the 27 songs, and a few covers. The brought fans on stage to help with choruses and a guitar playing, reminding the crowd that punk was a form of populism and anyone can play it. Green Day may be a stadium band, but they create the family atmosphere of a rock club, even when shooting off the pyrotechnics.

While the fan base has diversified and the theatrics have grown, not much has changed in 25 years when it comes to Billy Joe’s voice, Trey’s drums and Mike’s bass playing. It’s simple, precise, and loud as fuck. They are everything you want them to be.

SET LIST
Know Your Enemy (Fan bought onstage to sing)

Bang Bang


Revolution Radio


Holiday


Letterbomb


Boulevard of Broken Dreams


Longview (Fan bought onstage to sing final verse)


Youngblood


2000 Light Years Away


Hitchin' a Ride


When I Come Around


Welcome to Paradise


Minority


Are We the Waiting


St. Jimmy


Knowledge (Fan bought onstage to play)

(Operation Ivy cover)
Basket Case


She


King for a Day
(with Careless Whisper snippet)

Shout / Always Look on the Bright Side of Life / Teenage Kicks / (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction / Hey Jude


Still Breathing
Forever Now

Encore:
American Idiot

Jesus of Suburbia



Encore 2:
Ordinary World

21 Guns

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)


Rating out of 11: 
9