California punk trio Green Day are currently on the second European leg of their 21st Century Breakdown World Tour and I was lucky enough to see them live at London’s Wembley Stadium last night. There is something undeniably exciting about Wembley Stadium but as we took our seats at the beginning of the evening and I looked around the vast stadium, I had to wonder whether Green Day would be able to carry such a large stadium.
We arrived just in time to see support act Joan Jett and the Blackhearts take the stage. It feels strange to think that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts could be supporting another band considering how huge they have been over the years and I can remember standing on a wall with other nine-year-olds belting out “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” when it came out in 1982. I had expected a washed out version of an aging rocker and I was absolutely proven wrong. Joan Jett’s voice is as powerful and unique as the day she first hit the stage in 1975 and I was really impressed by her vocal range. The highlight of the set was “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” which was followed by “Crimson and Clover”.
One of my mates asked whether the former song was a cover of the Britney Spears version and I incredulously insisted that it was not. Confused, he asked when the Joan Jett version had come out and simply could not believe it when I told him. Such was the power and energy of Joan Jett’s performance, assisted no doubt by how good she looks at 51, that he had not realised that these were veteran rockers.
The interval leading up to the Green Day set was quite eventful. There was, of course, the hilarious Drunken Bunny. Nobody knows who the Drunken Bunny is but his drunken, slapstick routine certainly helps to pass the time. My suspicion is that all of the band members act as the Drunken Bunny, alternating between shows.
We had taken seated tickets and were seated in the Club Wembley tier on the bend. These are normally reasonable seats but the first thing we noticed was that there was a massive lighting tower blocking our view of the centre stage. One tip about Wembley is that if you are unhappy with your seats or your view is obstructed, you have to complain about it on the night. It is written on their terms and conditions and they simply do not entertain complaints written after the event. We complained and were moved a further two section towards the front of the Stadium which was brilliant.