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First Night: Greenday

Quite possibly the most hyperactive front-man that ever lived, Billie Joe Armstrong could teach even his older counterparts a lesson in how to command an audience.

And, while he and his band's brand of cartoonish rock 'n' roll might not appeal to everyone, it's difficult to imagine any other act putting on a show like Green Day.

A three-hour non-stop extravaganza falling somewhere between the lines of snot-nosed punk (the good kind) and thrilling stadium rock (in a park), last night's concert will live long in the memory as one of those rare live outings where you feel the musicians may have just put on the finest gig of their career.

Last night's soundtrack -- a phenomenal mixture of catchy Californian punk (Basket Case, Longview), and politically charged angst (Know Your Enemy, Holiday, American Idiot) -- was up there with the very best.

The show truly belongs to the manic, wide-eyed Armstrong, whose exhausting behaviour and playful interaction never fails to provoke a less-than-riveting response from his followers. He may have recently turned 38, but he looks no older than 25 as he runs back and forth, ensuring nobody misses out.

Elsewhere, fireworks are launched, kids brought on stage, and the world's biggest band declare Ireland their new home. Does it mean they'll be back very soon? I hope so. An astonishing performance.


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