Confessions of an overseas intern in London Part 2 – British Summer Time: Green Day at Hyde Park
So, I got to Hyde Park Corner a bit early and I waited for my friend Kam and her cousin to arrive. While I waited I tried some cactus juice which smells like cranberry juice and tastes like it but very watered down and then a bunch of South African people came and I chatted to them and then Kam arrived and introduced me to Joe and I made her have cactus juice too.
We then decided that because Green Day was not playing until later, we’d go and get some lunch but none of us knew the Hyde Park area so we ended up asking the bell boys at the Playboy Club and they directed us to a square where we went to a really cute café and had a yummy lunch. After lunch, we went to the concert but because the tickets were on my phone after we had gone through security, Kam and I were directed to the box office on the oottthhheerrrrrrr side of the festival. We had to go through security again where I ended up having a conversation with the ticket checker person about hair dye but because Kam and I had priority tickets, we didn’t have to walk too far, then we met Joe inside.
Kam and I then went to the loo where only one of the stalls had loo paper so we ended up playing pass-the-loo-paper underneath the walls so that everybody had some. After "loo paper-gate" headed over to the main stage where The Damned were playing and these guys are old but also pretty "Damned" good so we stood and watched them until the end of their set then we went to get cider and sat on the grass soaking up the atmosphere.
After the Damned and cider, Kam and I went to get chips and we had to go to the loo again because a pint of cider and small people don’t mix… Then we met up with Joe again and watched a small band because the festival had 3 stages and these guys were on the ‘kiddies level’ stage. Then Joe wanted vegan chicken sushi so Kam and I had the vegan duck sushi (which is gross by the way). We then sat around a bit more and walked around and got more cider and were given free Coke Zero (which goes surprisingly well with Strongbow Original cider) and we watched an Aussie band called The Living End who are very good – the guy had an electric double bass that he played behind his back. Then I went to the loo again and was gone for more than half an hour because there was a queue to get into a queue but once I got out, Rancid were playing so we sat on the grass and watched them. Joe’s mum joined us at the end of Rancid’s set with a bottle of wine which we enjoyed while we moved closer to the front for Green Day. The crowd sang Bohemian Rhapsody while we waited and we polished off the wine and a few people sang the Jeremy Corbyn song and then Green Day came on…
Green Day were absolutely AMAZING. Definitely the best live performance I have ever seen! Kam, Joe and I made one more loo-trip and had to make a chain so no one got lost and we did the same going back and there was a weird-arse sweaty, topless ginger guy who was eyeing up Kam and he put his arms around her and they danced! Then Kam and I moshed and she kept saying ‘last song, last song’ but we ended up moshing like 3 times and we kept getting separated because she’d get sucked into the middle and we’d laugh every time we got bumped and there was a huge woman who pulled us into a bear hug. We also hardcore moshed to American Idiot although we weren’t in the huge mosh pit but it was all great fun.
Billie Joe kept saying how much he loves London because 60K people were together and we could all forget our shit and have fun and there were almost no phones recording them because we were all in the moment (at which point I put my phone away). At one point, he got tired and just lay on the floor and sang bits of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Hey Jude and Satisfaction and the crowd sang along and it sounded absolutely amazing. They performed for 4 hours and the last 5 songs were acoustic.
During the concert 4 people got on stage – one guy was supposed to sing but basically ran around hugging the band, one girl who sang and was asked to do a stage dive but she was quite big and didn’t really make it to the crowd (the bouncers did a good job at catching her), a girl who was meant to be able to play the guitar but was honestly completely useless and a final girl who could play the guitar and she got to take Billie Joe’s guitar home.
Honestly, it was such an awesome experience and I am so grateful to have got the chance to see them live. That’s one more band I can tick off my ‘To See Before I Die’ list.