Over 10 years on from Green days album, American Idiot, the songs live on through not only rock n roll and punk rock history, but through theatre. American idiot is n0w touring the UK, and currently residing at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. I was gifted tickets on press night to review this two time winner of the Tony Awards and the 2010 Grammy Awards show.
I was never really a fan of Green Day, bearing in mind I was an 8 years old little girl, I was still very much into pop and Disney songs… not much has changed I guess. But Green Days music always seemed a bit too aggressive and loud for my liking. I was really intrigued as to how they have made a musical out of Green Day songs, and I was trying to compare it to when I watched ‘The Band’ (the musical using Take Thats music), but I can confirm, thank god, it was nothing like that.
The show follows the lives of three friends, Johnny, Tunny and Will, three young American guys, living in a suburban town, in a post 9/11 America, they are bored of life, angry with politicians and the government and want to give the finger to quite frankly everything and anything. The opening number Suburbia sets the tone for the show fantastically and you are right back to 2004 with some of Green Days finest.
The show has hit the nail on the head perfectly, with bring Green Days songs alive, I actually paid attention to the lyrics and the purpose of each of the songs and began to feel myself singing along in my head. The songs become less aggressive and more meaningful throughout this performance. And although the show is nothing to do with GreenDay, Armstrong poured his heart and soul into this album and weaved a lot of his own personal life into this music, which this show managed to convey in its own way. The pinnacle of this being the last number, ‘Wake me up when September ends’, Billie Joe Armstrong had written this about his dad, who died when he was just 10 years old.
American idiot tackles lots of oppressing issues throughout and the challenges the young men face as they go through life: drug and alcohol addictions, serving in the war, and parenthood. As I said, this production, really brings each of the songs alive with a story to follow, at times chaotic, but none the less a great performance, and an award winning soundtrack. I can now actually say I like Green days music!