A Political Anthem

Green Day
Air Canada Centre
November 2, 2004
On the night that Americans were gathering at polls and casting ballots to elect a new president, there was some George Bush bashing going on just north of the border.

On November 2nd, Green Day invaded Canada with a show at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, and they didn't forget their political beliefs at home.

"You know what they're doing back home tonight," Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer, screamed at the crowd. "They're lynching a president!"

After this declaration, greeted with thunderous cheers, the band broke into "American Idiot," their first single from their latest CD. Many times at concerts, the band offers just a taste of their latest album, and I am usually fine with this. But in this case, Green Day performed several new songs back to back, and the audience knew each word. "Jesus of Suburbia," "Holiday," "Are We the Waiting," and "St. Jimmy" were accepted well by the crowd, and Green Day performed each song with a vigour and energy that only they can offer.

With the mosh pit a frenzy of activity, Green Day had the audience in the palms of their hands from the start. Billie Joe, fronting the band, was interactive, calling for song lyrics, screams, and even the wave.

After the set of new tunes, they rocked out all their greatest hits, including "Brainstew," "Basketcase," and "Hitchin' a Ride." They also tossed in another new song, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," which many Green Day fans are already calling their favourite song ever done by the band.

At one point, three lucky audience members were pulled onstage to take over drums from Tr╚ Cool, bass from Mike Dirnt and lead guitar from Billie Joe, while Billie Joe carried the vocals. These fans seemed to be having a blast, and the faux lead-guitarist was awarded Billie Joe's electric guitar at the end of his performance. The "sloppy" bass player, on the other hand, was forced to dive off the stage and into the crowd.

After nearly two hours, Green Day called it a night, closing with Queen's "We are the Champions," but quickly returned to the stage for an encore, performing crowd favourite "Minority." The band then left the stage again, leaving Billie Joe in front of the audience with nothing but a guitar and a single spotlight to perform "Time of Your Life."

The pyrotechnics, stage antics, and all-around good music created a show that was near perfection. But I must say, despite the fireworks, shooting confetti, and Billie Joe faking an orgasm on stage, my favourite moment came towards the end of the show, when Billie Joe offered one more political note and his opinion of George W. Bush. "We f***ing hate him," he said. "If we wake up tomorrow morning and he is president again, Green Day might not be from California anymoreˇthey might be from Toronto!"

Canadians can only dream of the day.

Writer: Amy Bielby

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