Review by Jacques TwoTone
Picture the scene… Europe have just finished up at the Garage. It’s a Sunday night, so everyone’s off to catch the last train home. Not quite everyone, should I say.
There’s already a second queue forming outside The Garage. For one of the most anticipated gigs of the year. Well, it WOULD have been one of the most anticipated gigs of the year, but how the fuck can you possibly anticipate something that had been announced just two days previously?
Excitement is high. Random talk of Green Day and hopes for the set that is about to come. Words being exchanged, tales are told about gigs over the past week. Whispers uttered about the supposed appearance of the Hot Tubs at the previous nights Manchester show (Which, may I add, was fantastic and well worth the day trip).
The doors are opened. Some people having been there all day, waiting for a ticket. I picked mine up earlier, eager in anticipation for what could be the only show this year to top Green Day, as far as I’m concerned. Typically, expectations are high and there is no doubt for a second that they will not be met and destroyed. Needless to say, I’m excited
Opening with a few songs from the support band, who had been working on the tour and clearly hadn’t been chosen for their skill in either performance or warming up the crowd. But, let’s face it, unless the opening act had been Green Day themselves, I was going to be disappointed with them.
Here comes the good part.
Foxboro Hot Tubs blew the shit out of everything that has ever happened or ever will happen. Some people may say that I’m exaggerating slightly. To those people, I say “Bollocks, you clearly weren’t there.”
Coming out, clearly already hammered and preparing himself for a continued night of carnage, is Billie Joe Armstrong. Or should I say, the Reverand. The rest of the band follow suit, looking just at home on the tiny stage as they did on the various other nights of the tour, in front of thousands of people.
The opening riff to “Stop, Drop and Roll” is played. Mere moments later, everyone goes insane. Stage invasions, crowd surfing, stage diving, all of these things are happening and more. The Rev is throwing his drink over the audience, passing out cans to the front row. This was certainly a sight to behold. Ignoring the fact that one of the biggest bands in the world at the moment were playing a venue as small as they were, the show was still up there as one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. You could see the band loving being back in the small venues and it showed throughout the performance. Jokes were passed between band members, the piss was taken and vast quantities of alcohol were drunk.
Songs were also played and not for a second did they disappoint. Playing the entirety of the album (also called Stop, Drop And Roll!!!) and some fun covers, including a medley of Johnny B Goode and Blitzkreig Bop – lovingly dubbed by Mike as “Johnny Go Fuck Yourself” – and a twenty minute rendition of The Who’s superb A Quick One While He’s Away. The repeated performance of the albums title track never got boring, even after the sixth time around. Each time the performance was better. There were also tracks by Green Day and The Network thrown into the mix, much to the joy of the majority of the people in the crowd who had no idea what the fuck these songs that were being played were beyond that point.
I left the venue that night, hot, sweaty, tired and with the biggest grin on my face. This is one of the shows that people will be talking about for years. Carnage was caused, fun was had and an amazing band showed that they are still just as capable of ripping up the tiny venues that kicked them off all that time ago.
It’s going to take a hell of a show to top this one.