Along with bands like Rancid, and Offspring, Green Day blazed a trail down an abandoned path in the jungle of punk rock, and repopularized a flavor of punk where poppy hooks prevail and liberal doses of youthful angst never obliterate the exuberance of the music.
The band consists of singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, drummer Tre Cool and bassist Mike Dirnt, who always look as though they appreciate where they are and what they do. Particularly for Armstrong, it appears that fronting a popular band in front of happy people is about the most fun you can have with your ax on.
The crush at the security rail was intense, and the crowd pressed so tightly together that a good mosh pit wasn't possible, so intense, uninterrupted crowd surfing commenced with the opening notes and never abated.
At times people were coming over the rail so fast and furious that there was a waiting line to get back out from behind the barricade into the house.
Armstrong led his band mates through almost two hours of new and old songs, including "Blood, Sex and Booze" from their current release "Warning," and classics like "Geek Stink Breath," "Hitchin' A Ride," "Welcome To Paradise," "Longview," "When I Come Around," "Macy's Day Parade," "Minority" and "Basket Case."
A staple of Green day concerts is the slapdash creation of an impromptu band onstage, made of fans pulled right out of the crowd. Not leaving too much to chance, Armstrong grilled prospective rockers hard " "How old are you? How long have you been playing? Can your really play??"
In the end he was satisfied with the answers and a 14 year-old guitar player, a 17 year-old drummer, and a twenty-something bassist became a credible band for three minutes.
Opening act, Olathe's own The Get Up Kids were the recipients of a well-deserved homecoming embrace. They played a high-energy set of emo-rock that at times recalled early Cheap Trick and late Big Star.
-- Online Entertainment Manager Michael Newman can be reached at 845-3221.