Rocking the dream

The cast of American Idiot.
The cast of American Idiot.

ONE of the best albums to come out of American in the past ten years was Green Day’s American Idiot.

It was a full-frontal assault on how the band perceived ‘the American way of life’.

The song, Wake Me Up When September Ends, though ostensibly about the death of lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong’s father, took on a further significance when the video showed a young man heading off to do his duty by joining the army and shipping out to Iraq.

The album was always meant to be a rock musical – and now it is.

American Idiot tells the story of three friends who, along with other suburban youth, rebel against their home town, Jingletown.

Exasperated, two of the three leave for the big city with the third remaining as his girlfriend is pregnant.

Life for the other two fares no better: one is beguiled by a TV advert and joins the army while the other descends into a world of drugs.

Firing the story on throughout is the music from the album, along with some new tunes penned for the musical.

Powerhouse songs like Holiday and Jesus of Suburbia are mixed in with the more contemplative sounds of Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Wake Me Up When September Ends to provide a live representation of the visions of the California punk trio.

The album was an instant hit when it came out in 2004 as it seemed to speak for much of the disaffected youth in America at the time who still had the hangover of 9/11 which was compounded with George Bush Jnr’s push for war in Iraq.

The show is less overtly-political, but still speaks up for those frustrated young folk who are left cold by the TV-led hysteria which pollutes political debate and ham-fistedly attempts to mould thoughts and opinions into compliance.

American Idiot is on just now at the SECC (8pm) and runs until Saturday.

Tickets are priced between £16.50 and £42.50.