AMERICAN rock band Green Day wowed Milton Keynes on this day ten years ago with the first of their two night stand at MK Bowl.
The band visited Milton Keynes for two nights on the American Idiot Tour in 2005, with the first night taking place on Saturday June 18th in front of a crowd of over 60,000 people. The second concert took place the night afterwards. Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and Hard-Fi appeared as support acts over the two days.
The shows were filmed for a DVD release, with the consequent live album Bullet in a Bible released in November of the same year. The venue would later be replicated in the Green Day Rock Band video game, which was released in 2010.
Ben Goldie from Aylesbury was 12 years old when he went to see the show, which was his first ever gig. He spoke of his memories of the concert, from being amazed by the size of the venue and production, to being blown away by the show at large.
He said, “When I first saw the set, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of the set up. It was my first proper gig so I didn’t really know what to expect, but the size of the setup was amazing. It was also extremely busy – it seemed like everyone had come to this gig.
“I was with my family, and we sat quite far back up the banking, so relied mainly on the screens to see the stage clearly. I must have been excited, because looking back at the day, it seems that the support bands started at about 3pm and lasted forever -seemed like there was a lot of waiting for the headline act.”
Both night’s sets were dominated by songs from American Idiot, with seven tracks from the album performed on the first night, and the song Homecoming added on the second night. The two shows opened with a performance of the title track from AI, with big hit singles Jesus of Suburbia and Holiday following immediately after as part of a run of five straight songs from the album.
Older hits Longview, Hitchin’ a Ride and Basket Case were also performed along the way, as was a cover of Operation Ivy’s track Knowledge, which saw members of the crowd bought on stage to play the track. On both nights, the show ended with singer Billie Joe Armstrong performing Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) on his own on a runway in the middle of the crowd.
Goldie continued, “The gig itself was phenomenal. I was in total awe of everything around me, and the music was far far better than I was expecting from a live band. I stood in amazement from start to finish, and it just seemed to get better and better, especially when it got dark. The lights and pyro were awesome, and you could feel the heat from right at the back.
“They played pretty much all of the American Idiot album, but the older songs were my preference, and from the crowd participation, I think everybody else felt the same. They ended their set with Good Riddance, and a fireworks display to see them off stage.
“I later bought the DVD and I definitely had a good go at spotting myself in the film but with no luck. It was a good film though, and stored a lot of memories.”