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Green Day play Seville

billie joe armstrong on stage in seville
billie joe armstrong on stage in seville Image credit: billboard.com

Picture the scene, you are visiting the beautiful city of Seville in a few months’ time and want to reserve a table for a quiet dinner so you can treat your loved one to an evening they won’t forget.

Where do you choose? You don’t want the hustle and bustle of the main city centre. Somewhere more elaborate. Somewhere picturesque. How about a relaxed, peaceful restaurant just a few metres from the Plaza de España?

For any loved up couple who had arranged such a tranquil evening earlier in the year. Well, let’s just say we hope they were fans of one of the biggest rock bands on the planet as there’s a pretty huge gig going on over at the plaza tonight headlined by a certain Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool.

Oh Green Day how do you do it eh? You always seem to appear when the world is in crisis. You were there when Bush came into power and now you are here when the British fans in the crowd are devastated that their home country may never be eligible again to stage the MTV European Music Awards from the end of October, no sorry we mean the end of January, or maybe next spring, or whenever we decide to leave the EU.

The Californian East Bay boys are here to round off this year’s MTV World Stage events, tickets for this gig went quicker than a snap election and boy are we pleased to see you back.

It’s been three decades, yeah that long! Since they started out but no matter how many times you hear their material it still seems as if you are listening to something pretty special.

They kick off with Minority although nobody in the crowd are singled out when it comes to screaming out the chorus word by word.

After Revolution Radio Mike takes a bow, they are only two songs in, but who cares? It’s Green Day for crying out loud and those in the audience who have seen them live at least once know that in a few tracks time it could be them thanking the crowd for saving them from a trip to the local A&E.

It’s time to debut their upcoming new track, but somehow we think the title ‘may’ be shortened when played on national radio and televised to over a billion viewers as part as this year’s EMAs. Either that or there’s gonna be quite a few disgruntled parents when they here presenters introduce Father of All Motherfuckers next year on daytime MTV channels.

Apparently the song doesn’t have a political motive, which is unusual for GD, instead it’s just a statement from the band to ‘bring back the balls to rock and roll’ which we are sure they will do when they embark on a 2020 world tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer.

So now we all know their forthcoming release it’s time to join Billie as he belts out Basket Case, not once but blooming twice! There’s a couple of explanations for this. 1.) They needed to play it a second time as the performance was being recorded for tomorrow’s MTV EMAs 2.) It’s such a bloody good song or 3.) both! We opt for the latter!

After Holiday and a stroll down a Boulevard of Broken Dreams it’s time for Armstrong to pick a young lad out from the crowd. It’s a staple fixture of a Green Day show, the fancy dress costumes of bunny rabbits may have dived down a rabbit hole, but when it comes to inviting a fan onstage to sing one of their classic tracks, in this case Know Your Enemy, then asking them to stagedive back into the arena it’s too good to lose from their set…We are just waiting for the band to pick someone in a wheelchair…What the hell could go wrong there?

The same gimmick is used again a few songs later for Bang Bang when Mike asks ‘Who knows the words?’, a girl wearing a Santa hat is brought on stage to fire out the lyrics before, yep you guessed it, throwing herself back in the first few rows.

It’s a short set, well by Green Day standards anyway, but with this sold-out gig – which by this stage, fingers crossed, has everybody in one piece and hopefully not two fans making their way to the local hospital with broken bones, there’s still time for a couple of good old covers which come in the form of Shout by The Isley Brothers and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. The party interlude sees Billie on drum duty and Mike racing across the stage before collapsing to the floor kicking his legs up high.

There’s more high jinx antics for When I Come Around, American Idiot and Jesus of Suburbia. The trio of belters climax’s in a gunpowder explosion of fireworks, loud and proud enough to disrupt any romantic meal not just in close proximity of the Plaza de España but anywhere in the Spainish Andalusia region.

After the big bang the mood changes, Billie is left lonesome on stage to perform, in our opinion not just Green Day’s best songs but one of the greatest songs of the twentieth century…Good Riddance before he joins his bandmates to play us out with St. Jimmy.

Picture the scene, you are in the beautiful city of Seville, having that romantic quiet dinner for your loved one which you booked months ago…And instead you are privileged to hear one of the world’s biggest rock bands for free and a stunning firework display. Now that’s a night to remember!

Green Day Setlist - Plaza de España, Seville – Saturday November 2 2019

Minority

Revolution Radio

Father of All...

Basket Case

Basket Case

Holiday

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Know Your Enemy

Bang Bang

Longview

All By Myself

Shout

When I Come Around

Waiting

American Idiot

Jesus of Suburbia

Play Video

St. Jimmy

You can read our full review from the MTV EMAs here.