Green Day @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
If you were planning on having a boring Monday night in St. Louis, the Green Day show was probably not the place for you! From the jump, Green Day puts their audience in the moment and keeps them there for over two hours! The chosen hype music, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, immediately had everyone in the moment. A sing-a-long with this classic rocker gave way to a pink bunny dancing to The Ramones' “Blitzkrieg Bop”.

A spaghetti western mashup leads the band onstage. The kick drum of “Know Your Enemy” smacks fans in the chest! Followed closely by a blast of pyrotechnics and with much fanfare, Green Day is back in St. Louis. After 30 years of making music, Green Day certainly knows how to get close to the fans or bring the fans to them. Before “Enemy” finishes, a young lady is plucked from the crowd to assist lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, with the vocals. A running stage dive sends the young lady back to where she came from.

A message of unity is continually brought to the forefront of the show. “Tonight, is about a new America...we’re all in this together, the freaks and the weirdos” are some of the slogans preached by Armstrong. A second call for an associate vocalist is put out during the classic, “Longview”. A young man fits the bill and finishes his two minutes of fame with the now patented leap of faith. Halfway through the night, these punk professionals show no sign of aging, hitting their stride with 1991’s “Welcome to Paradise”. Armstrong asks for the house lights so the band can see your, hearts, your faces, and your souls!

Plenty of, “Hey ohs” give the classic punksters time to breathe and the Green Day fans another chance to be in the moment. Dillon Dunnagan started the night in seats by the lawn, but ended up with a view that was the envy of every fan in attendance. Armstrong was in search of a guitar player in the audience that knew three chords during the song, “Knowledge”. Dunnagan, who had worked his way to the front of the stage, was chosen from the turnout of 13,000, to temporarily join the band. I gotta say, Dillon held his own and his “participation medal”:  keeping Billie Joe’s guitar!

Sporting pharaoh headdresses, masks, and hats, Green Day members bring the song, “King for a Day” to a fever pitch that transformed into a classic rock medley. Snippets of, “Hey Jude”, “Shout”, and “Careless Whisper” blended seamlessly into one another. The ska-esque horns played throughout the medley added another unexpected twist to the night’s festivities. Making the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater work for an encore, Green Day made the juice worth the squeeze! Blasting through “Jesus of Suburbia” and “American Idiot”.

Twenty-four Green Day songs are just not enough, apparently the frontman felt the same. Returning to the stage, minus the band, Armstrong strummed the pleading, acoustic chords of “21 Guns”. I’m pretty sure the band would not have made it out of town alive if one song was not in the set. Recognizing his potential demise, Armstrong completes this musical journey with the song that made Green Day a household name, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”. Thanks to Green Day for allowing me to be, “in the moment”!  Photos of the show are below:

Contributed by Duane Clawson
Green Day @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO Green Day @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on August 23, 2017 Rating: 5
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