On the walk to Rod Laver Arena I’m blown away by the several generations of fans that Green Day have connected with in their 31 year career. There are kids as young as 5 walking hand in hand with their parents branding green hair, Mohawks, black clothing with punk tees. A busker in a serious looking rabbit suit belting out ‘Welcome to Paradise’ on his guitar solidified the excitement as we entered the front lawn of the Arena, currently putting the finishing touches on a multi million dollar upgrade.
As we enter the Arena, L.A band The Interrupters bring their unique blend of Ska Punk to the eager Melbourne audience. Singer Aimee Interrupter commands their attention, engaging them in every word of their lyrics, moving to every beat that just makes your body move uncontrollably. Her voice reaches every corner of the arena effortlessly such is the power in her voice. The musicianship and interaction between all members of the band make you feel like you are as much a part of the performance as they are. Their sound is more than just the relationship between Ska and Punk. There’s Reggae blended smoothly into this blend with Melodic Punk becoming the icing on the cake. All of a sudden you come to the realization that you have had so much fun already that their blazing 30 minute set has already run its course.
After a quick look at all the merchandise on offer from both acts and soaking up the atmosphere in the arena we make our way back onto the floor to secure our spot for what lies ahead. Tonight’s show has been sold out for quite some time. There is a unique sense of family and unity amongst the thousands of fans. We’re in safe hands.
Queen’s timeless classic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ starts to fill the arena. Every Green Day fan in the building are in full voice singing at the top of their lungs. The theatrics begin when a pink bunny is thrown out onto the stage to aid the final countdown to the headline act, amping the crowd with Ramones favourite ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’. ‘Hey Ho, Lets Go!’
The curtains drop and Billie, Tre’, Mike and the gang storm the stage, tearing into 21st century breakdowns ‘Know Your Enemy’ with all the pyrotechnics left in the city. Many of us have dreamed of joining our favourite bands on stage and tonight a few of those dreams came true. The first of which, a young girl, pulled on stage to sing before jumping into the arms of the adoring fans.
It comes to my immediate attention that the sound is perfect. I can make out every note of every instrument, being complimented by the powerhouse rhythm section of Mike Dirnt and Tre’ Cool.
‘I’m tired of the lies, tired of the corruption, tired of the conspiracy theories!. Tonight is about unity, do you hear me!?’ declares Billie Joe Armstrong to the passionate fans that stand with their fists raised. A united front.
Green Day’s set was something for the ages tonight. Their energy was unrivaled. The band powers through ‘Bang Bang’ and the albums title track ‘Revolution Radio’ before we start going back in time to the Grammy Award winning era of American Idiot. Sending a strong message of ‘no racism, no sexism and no Donald f%#king Trump!’ before the set descends into ‘Holiday’, and an incredible heartfelt sing along to ‘Boulevard Of Broken Dreams’, the fans drowning out the band with every word. We are transported back to the beginning, much to the delight of the old old school Green Day fans as the band take us through my childhood favourite’s such as ‘Longview’, ‘When I Come Around’ and a special rendition of ‘2000 Light Years Away’.
As the band perform my personal favourite ‘Are We The Waiting’. I take a breath and look around the arena. I notice that every person in the room is on their feet, their arms in the air. Screaming every lyric at the top of their lungs like they own it. Front man Billie Joe has them in the palm of his hand. After all this time its an incredible feat to have so much energy and passion. To still see a fire in their belly, standing up for what they believe in. It dawns on me that what Billie declared earlier in the set about tonight’s show being about Unity was ringing true. He adds, ‘There is no normal in today's world’. ‘Thank god for Australia, you guys f#%king get it’. We all come from messed up backgrounds. We need to have each others backs more than ever right now’.
It feels like family in this arena and we all feel blessed to be part of it.
It only felt right that the fans were treated to the song that took a jab at post 9/11 conservatism that became mainstream, ‘American Idiot’, followed by the epic ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ that is a rock opera on its own. It makes sense that ‘American Idiot’ was taken to the Broadway stage.
As the feeling of contentment sinks in, Billie Joe returns to the stage one last time with his acoustic guitar. His voice soars through Rod Laver to one of the bands most recognised and loved hits ‘Good Riddance (Time of your life)’.
This was more than just a punk rock show. The band are still in their prime and this performance I will treasure for the rest of my life. The connection this passionate family of Green Day fans have with the music is what music is meant to be about. A rock show can change the world.
Groom Epoch, a luminous outfit created by former drummer of The Church, Richard Ploog, are set to release their new album, Solar Warden, through Golden Robot Records in April 2018, with Cosmic Artifice, the lead single from the eclectic group.
“Dancing and headbanging are truly individualistic expressions of losing oneself fully in appreciation of music - who better to combine these things into a singular vision than someone who’s directed Madonna and Lady Gaga videos - and also happens to have been a member of Bathory?” — Joshua Homme
After crisscrossing the Northern Hemisphere for over a year in support of their brilliant seventh studio album Ellipsis, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro announce their return to New Zealand for one all-ages show at Spark Arena on April 24.
Coridian are ready to unveil their 2nd release Caldera this November. With the help of Zorran Mendonsa this packet of sound includes two released singles Blind Faith (2016) & Reflections (2017) as well as four new tracks that have been road tested on stage.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!