Music review: Green Day, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow

Delayed for no less than five years, this crowd-pleasing Green Day gig was well worth waiting for, writes David Pollock

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day  PIC: Getty
Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day PIC: Getty

Green Day, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow ****

“I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment to come,” run the lyrics in Green Day’s song Waiting, which was appropriately dedicated here by singer Billie Joe Armstrong to “everyone who's been waiting five years for this gig.” Since 2017, cancellations and then the pandemic have moved it back again and again. People who had tickets for the first gig have probably met partners and had children in the interim.

This mini-festival date on the appropriately named Hella Mega Tour also featured Fall Out Boy, Weezer and breakout Glastonbury hit Amyl and the Sniffers, alongside whom California’s Green Day are positively elder statesmen.

In the ‘90s they were snotty, spiky-haired young men writing punk-flavoured pop-rock songs about teenage angst, then in 2004 their anti-Iraq War concept record American Idiot became a state of the nation address. Now Billie Joe is 50, still resembling Dennis the Menace in eyeliner and black and red polka-dot shirt.

He strikes the right balance between the energetic call-and-response antics of Hitchin’ a Ride, their refreshingly overblown cover of Kiss’s Rock and Roll All Nite, and the poppy When I Come Around on one hand, and the serious, politically-aware rock of Know Your Enemy and 21 Guns on the other. Some of the show’s finest moments, though, came when both streams of the band’s style crossed – few diatribes against moral and religious censorship come catchier than Majority.

Then there were some crowd-pleasing, genuinely lovely moments, especially when a fan named Erin was plucked from the crowd to play guitar on Knowledge alongside Armstrong, and was invited to hang around and take the lead on Basket Case.

King for a Day ran on party-starting lead saxophone lines, skimming through bursts of Wham’s Careless Whisper and the Lulu favourite Shout (a setlist staple, although it felt prepared especially for Glasgow), and then into the epic, elegiac Wake Me Up When September Ends and closer Good Riddance (Time of Your Life). It was all worth the wait.