It’s been seven years since Green Day have performed in Buffalo, and the crowd was ready. The performing arts center at Darien Lake was sold to near capacity, everyone seemingly here to see the headliner.
The evening opened with a short set from Welch alternative-rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen. Led by charismatic front-man and guitarist Van McCann, they performed a short, five song set including their hits “7” and “Cocoon” to warm up the fans for Green Day. Catfish and the Bottlemen are currently touring in support of their sophomore album, The Ride, available on Island Records.
As fans waited for Green Day to take the stage, their anticipation was prolonged by someone in a giant pink bunny rabbit costume running about the stage to fire up the crowd even more. Before departing, he tossed a miniature bunny into the crowd and disappeared. Tre’ Cool was the first to hit the stage as he ran up his drum riser, followed by Mike Dirnt and finally Billie Joe Armstrong as Green Day opened the evening with “Know Your Enemy.”
It's been customary throughout this tour that Billie Joe brings a lucky fan on stage for a quick embrace before setting the fan up for a stage dive into the crowd. They followed up with “Bang Bang” off of 2016’s Revolution Radio.
The first observation of Green Day’s set, was how these guys still jump around the stage like a young punk band still out to prove themselves. Their stage presence was felt immediately, as Billie Joe and crew captured the crowd from the moment the set started. The next most obvious take-away was just how good they sounded. Typically, the voice is the first and most obvious sign of an aging band. From what we saw tonight, Green Day could very well only be entering the mid-point of their career.
The remainder of the evening was well-balanced between their classics such as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Longview,” “When I Come Around” and “Basket Case” as well as new tracks such as “Revolution Radio,” “Still Breathing,” “Are We the Waiting” and “Forever Now.” Every night, Green Day kicks off a medley late in the set that begins with “Shout.” It’s no secret that this song holds a special meaning here in Buffalo as it’s been the Buffalo Bills cheer song for well over two decades (Yes, way back when the Bills made four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl). Any band that tackles this song here knows it’s an easy crowd pleaser.
They wrapped up the night with a pair of encore sets including “American Idiot,” “Jesus of Suburbia” and “21 Guns” before finally concluding the evening with “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”
Like so many of the bands that are able to fill large venues now, Green Day have been around to encompass more than just one generation of fans. That was on full display this evening at Darien Lake, as parents were there with their teenage children to see a band that was so influential to them in their younger years. Reactions of fans after the show were all highly positive, several claiming this was the “best show of their life.” That’s always up for debate, but it’s safe to say Green Day will always receive a warm welcome here in Buffalo!
Photos by Charlie Meister
- Know Your Enemy
- Bang Bang
- Revolution Radio
- Boulevard of Broken Dreams
- 2000 Light Years Away
- Hitchin’ a Ride
- When I Come Around
- Welcome to Paradise
- Are We the Waiting
- Knowledge (Operation Ivy cover)
- Basket Case
- King for a Day
- Shout/Always Look on the Bright Side/(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction/Hey Jude
- Still Breathing
- Forever Now
- American Idiot
- Jesus of Suburbia
- 21 Guns (Acoustic)
- Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)