December 10th, 2009: Under the rooftop of Brisbane’s Entertainment Centre last night, excited fans
were treated to not one, but two excellent bands in one evening of power rock ballads
and searing lyrics to rival the heat in South East Queensland.
On the menu this evening, guaranteed to get the crowd revved up – Melbourne band Jet (an Aussie
rock institution since their 2003 breakout hit single ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’) and perennial
International superheroes, Green Day.
The stage was set for three-plus hours of scorching rock melodies that only Jet and Green Day can bring to Brisbane! Jet, the
evening’s warm up act had the show rolling at around 7:30pm getting the three quarters filled centre fired up with their hit songs.
Acoustics were not much of an issue, as the Entertainment Centre was more-or-less designed for
concerts so we did not have to suffer through some of the sound quality issues we were subjected
to at the U2 concert in Sydney back in 2006.
Jet’s front man Nic Cester did his best to get the crowd involved in the songs, but one couldn’t help
but sense that the amassed fans were perhaps saving their vocal cords for the headline act.
By the time we heard Jet’s signature song, the crowd were fully engaged, joining the band for the chorus.
Several of Jet’s more recent singles also played through the night until they bowed out just before 8:30pm.
This nimble creature, perhaps something out of Alice in Wonderland amused the crowd
while the headline act were preparing to take the stage,
After a short while, the house lights dropped and Green Day took to the stage to the roar
of the crowd.
The set list included old and new hits, with a special set of songs for the long time Green Day fans, including favourites from their breakthrough album ‘Dookie’ – ‘Welcome to Paradise’, ‘When I Come Around’ and ‘Basketcase’ (leading perfectly into ‘She’).
We were also treated to covers of AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ (in tribute to Australia),
the Beatles’ Hey Jude and various other covers, which added to the unique flavour of the concert.
The band played two encore sets, returning to the stage to play 2004’s hit single
‘American Idiot’ and the late 90’s favourite ‘Minority’.
I’d like to particularly pay respects to the high quality special effects used as a backdrop to the main
stage. One of the most visually exciting productions I’ve seen, surpassing the SFX used at U2’s most
In all honestly, I was not expecting to see on-stage theatrics to equal the efforts of
ageless rock gods Kiss for many years to come, yet last night I was pleasantly surprised.
The massive structure displayed high quality graphics and overlays, supplemented by fireworks and flame throwing machines (which reminded me of the Kiss concert in 2004).
This concert featured Green Day pulling members of the crowd on stage to help perform (Drums, Bass Guitar and Lead Guitar), or to spray the crowd with water guns. At one stage the crowd were treated to shirts being fired as far into the crowd as the back of the Entertainment Centre. Several people who made it on stage were induced to a quick bit of crowd surfing which was fun.
It was drummer Tré Cool’s birthday on the night and his reward, on stage, was a birthday cake which he voluntarily drove his face into! Give him credit though, he played on, cake and all! It was fun to see stage crew trying to pick pieces of the cake up from behind the drum kit
The band played through until 11pm leaving the stage after a confetti-filled finale, finishing with Billie Joe’s acoustic serenade/solo with the crowd, mixing ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ effortlessly with ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’.
Honestly, this was a very enjoyable concert and Green Day would have to stand as one of the best touring rock bands of note. When Green Day plays, they certainly bring an authentic live feel to the set list, which can’t be captured in a studio album.
Perhaps the only annoying aspect to the night were the usual suspects – expensive souvenirs (T-Shirts from $50!) and a tour programme at $25 (mostly pictures, little text).
Green Day and Jet, in concert, are a feast for the eyes and the ears. For long time Green Day fans, it was also a feast for the still-beating heart of those teenagers of the 1990s!