Green Day enthusiast has the time of her life

Kristy Liu, Staff Reporter

My advice? Go see your favorite band live. It will change your life, like seeing Green Day did for me.

Green Day is a punk rock band comprised of lead vocalist, Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool, and has been around since 1988; that’s nearly thirty years in the music industry. Seriously, ask your teacher or your dad if they’ve got a Dookie cassette still lying around. They probably do.

The band is still as active as ever, having released yet another full-length record on October 7, 2016, titled Revolution Radio, making that their 12th album. Recently, they have been out on tour, playing shows all across the globe despite the members now being in their mid-40s. On March 15, Green Day performed at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY, and I had the honor to attend.

So why was this such an important night to me? Well, I have been listening to Green Day for at least seven years now. I have eighteen Green Day shirts (unintentionally, one for every year I’ve been alive), a copy of every record digitally, in CD format and on vinyl, and if that’s not enough to convince you, I moved the entire wall of Green Day posters from my old room, of my old home to my new one. My parents told me that it was just a phase, but since the day I first discovered the “21 Guns” music video seven years ago, I haven’t been able to let go. And after this concert, I don’t think I ever plan on letting go.

The moment I walked into the arena, I thought to myself, “I’m home.” The opening band, Against Me!, playing on stage, the exhilarating feeling of being surrounded by 25,000 other people who gathered together for the same reason, and the sheer anticipation for the moment Green Day was to be on stage…it was absolutely overwhelming.

And the moment they did pick up their instruments and step into the stage light, I heard the roaring screams of the crowd fill the stadium in a steady wave, to the point where I could barely hear my own blood-curdling screams. You see the people who have been plastered all over your bedroom wall for the past six years with your own eyes and you almost don’t believe they’re real, because they’ve become such icons to you.

They kicked off their 28-song set with a politically-charged “Know Your Enemy,” off of 21st Century Breakdown. The band then followed up with several songs off of Revolution Radio, including the lead single, “Bang Bang,” as well as other hits such as “Youngblood,” “Revolution Radio,” “Forever Now,” and “Still Breathing” (the song that made me lose my voice and drown in my own tears.)

They also went back to a lot of their old school hits and practically played half of the songs off of Dookie, and also some oldies I never even expected – “2000 Light Years Away,” off of Kerplunk, and “Scattered,” an underrated bop from Nimrod, which had to have been one of my absolute favorites that night.

And being Green Day, they certainly did not forget about American Idiot; they performed “Letterbomb,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Are We The Waiting,” “St. Jimmy,” “Jesus of Suburbia,” and of course, “American Idiot,” and “Holiday,” which Armstrong interrupted with a passionate and heated political rant.

If there’s any band that can put on a show, it’s Green Day. The lightshow and the elaborate backdrop changes were a show in and of itself, and then including the band – hearing Billie Joe Armstrong’s distinctively nasally voice and seeing him play his guitar behind his back, Mike Dirnt’s absolutely shredding it on bass, and Tre Cool’s unbelievable skill on his custom drum kit – it’s wholeheartedly incredible.

For the first time ever in my life, I felt liberation. I felt unbothered and unworried about my surroundings, and how I presented myself in front of others. It was just me and the music; I didn’t care about the foundation running down my sweaty face, my goofy, ear-to-ear smile, however which way my body decided to moved along to the groove of the music, or my out-of-tune voice shouting the lyrics to every song they played. There’s just something about being able to scream at a way higher decibel than what’s usually socially acceptable. When you take into account the fact that what you are screaming are the words to your favorite songs, it makes the sensation of it all so much better. I was able to completely let myself go without fear of being judged. I guess that’s just the kind of vibe you get at a punk rock concert.

Green Day concluded their two and a half hour set with all lights on Billie Joe Armstrong, appropriately ending the night with the same song that ended Revolution Radio: “Ordinary World,” and saying goodbye with “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” The stadium was blessed with the soft strums of his signature Gibson acoustic, the glow of the crowd’s phone flashlights waving back and forth, and Armstrong’s melodic voice singing farewell: “I hope you had the time of your life.” Green Day took their bows, walked off the stage, and confetti rained from the stage and into the crowd that was slowly shuffling away from an unforgettable night.

Armstrong’s hopeful plea was a hundred percent on point — I did,

in fact, have the time of my life that night.