Green Day // LG Arena, Birmingham, 2009 – Emily Simms
On a freezing night in October 2009, any Green Day fan in Birmingham would be wearing only a t-shirt, knowing that it would be completely soaked through by the end of the night. Before the time of the sea of iPhone screens across an arena, complete darkness would blanket the room, anticipation manifesting through the chorus of hitched breaths.
The first few notes of ‘21st Century Breakdown’ broke the quiet and erupted into a cacophony of whooping and hollering, as Green Day ran on to the stage. By the next song, your voice was already hoarse.
Over a decade later, the iconic graphic of the gas mask that felt like it was looming towards the crowd out of the screen, evokes the same feeling of both terror and elation. Then the unmistakable opening chord sequence of ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ began, and you were instantaneously transported from the damp arena into what felt like an intimate, live acoustic session. Thousands of people were all walking down that lonely road together, and when you were in that moment, truly singing from the depths of your Dr Marten soles, it was enough to bring a tear to your eye.