Women in Music 2019

Green Day Rolls Out the Hits in Seville on Eve of 2019 MTV EMAs

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day performs during the World Stage held at the Plaza de Espana ahead of the MTV EMAs 2019 on Nov. 2, 2019 in Seville, Spain.

Green Day delivered a loud, frantic-paced and thrilling run through their greatest hits in front of 10,000 people at Seville’s historic Plaza de España on Saturday night (Nov. 2).

Fans had been queuing since the morning for the MTV World Stage gig, the final show in a week-long series of warm-up concerts and events leading up to MTV’s Europe Music Awards (EMAs) in Seville on Sunday (Nov. 3).      

The setting of Plaza de España, a beautiful Renaissance-style open air plaza, built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929, proved a picturesque backdrop for Green Day to take to the stage, although the veteran punks showed no signs of being overawed by their stately surroundings.

Instead, singer Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, drummer Tre Cool and touring guitarist Jason White rattled through a hit-filled 90-minute set that delivered little in the way of surprises, but reaffirmed why they remain one of the best live rock acts still around today, beginning with a rousing version of 2000 single “Minority.”

Next came “Bang Bang” and a blistering rendition of new single “Father Of All…,” the title track to their forthcoming thirteenth studio album, due February next year, followed by “Basket Case,” which the group inexplicably played twice back-to-back to try and win over a crowd that was already eating out of the palm of their hand.

Still, if you’re going to play a song twice it might as well be Dookie’s “Basket Case,” a tune that sounds as dynamic and urgent as when it was first released in 1994.     

More pyrotechnic explosions followed during “Holiday” and a flailing “Know Your Enemy” with the latter seeing the group repeat its regular crowd-pleasing routine of getting a member of the audience up onstage to perform with them before then sending them diving back into the throng.

Other highlights of the condensed set included “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” a cheesy, yet fun medley of The Isley Brothers’ “Shout” and Eric Idle’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” and a vengeful “American Idiot,” with Armstrong limiting his interactions with the crowd to subtle variations of: “Seville, are you going to go fucking crazy?”

The show concluded with a nine-minute rendition of “Jesus of Suburbia,” climaxing in a gigantic firework display, after which Armstrong re-emerged clutching an acoustic guitar to perform fan favorite anthem “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” A full band encore of American Idiot’s “St. Jimmy” brought the night to a powerful frenetic close.    

The 2019 MTV EMAs take place tomorrow (Nov. 3) at Seville’s FIBES Conference and Exhibition Centre, hosted by Becky G and featuring performances by Niall Horan, Halsey, Rosalia, Akon, Ava Max, Mabel, Liam Gallagher, Dua Lipa and NCT 127.


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