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Green Day play to sold-out Wembley Stadium

Green Day perform live on stage (Yui Mok/PA)
Green Day perform live on stage (Yui Mok/PA)

Green Day rattled through two career-defining albums as they played to a sold-out Wembley Stadium on the final UK and Ireland date of The Saviors tour.

The home of English football welcomed tens of thousands of fans to the stands and the pitch for the visit of the US punk rockers.

The gig marked the release of Green Day’s 14th studio album Saviors while also celebrating 30 years of Dookie and 20 years of American Idiot.

Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong thanked fans as he noted they first played in the English capital in 1991, adding: “I think this is the biggest ever show we’ve played in London.”

An individual dressed in a pink bunny suit ran across the stage to Blitzkrieg Bop by Ramones to whip up energy levels among the crowd ahead of the band’s appearance.

To loud cheers, Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool emerged.

Armstrong screamed “Wembley” before the band launched into The American Dream Is Killing Me, a single from their latest album which marked a return to political songwriting.

Pausing for applause ahead of playing Burnout, Armstrong said: “Welcome to the 30th anniversary of Dookie.”

What followed was the 1994 album in its entirety with Welcome To Paradise, Basket Case and When I Come Around among the fan favourites.

Armstrong blew kisses to the crowd, draped himself in an England flag and encouraged waving and jumping from fans whilst Dirnt darted about the stage.

Armstrong’s son Jakob made an appearance on guitar for She, with the pair hugging at the end of the song.

An inflatable plane was guided over the crowd as Dookie neared its end, with what appeared to be inflatable bombs dropped from it and caught by fans.

Armstrong paused the set as people waved for assistance for a fan, with the Green Day frontman directing staff to help.

Armstrong said: “Thank you for saying something, look out for each other.”

There was then an airing of the album’s hidden track All By Myself, sung by Cool, albeit with an orchestral flourish and the drummer slipping on a dressing gown and skipping about the stage for the occasion.

Green Day went on to play songs from their other albums with Know Your Enemy marking the part in the set where Armstrong brought a fan on stage.

She helped Armstrong sing the remainder of the song before grabbing a selfie with him and then diving off the stage.

Look Ma, No Brains! and Dilemma were among the tracks from Saviors to follow before the band turned to Minority from the album Warning, and Brain Stew, from Insomniac.

The band barely paused for breath before running through American Idiot, the 2004 album which helped catapult them further into the upper echelons of the music world.

Sing-a-longs and pyrotechnics occurred throughout, with fans holding up and waving their lit-up phones during Jesus Of Suburbia and Boulevard Of Broken Dreams.

Armstrong again paused the set during the latter song amid fears a fan had passed out and thanked those for helping.

He joked he would start his comedy career during the delay and told a “knock knock” joke minus a punchline beyond “London”, before thanking fans for their patience.

Green Day turned to Saviors one last time to play Bobby Sox and the set concluded with Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).

Armstrong was joined by the crowd as he sang: “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life.”

At the end of the song, Armstrong sat down on stage and took in the cheers of the crowd whilst fireworks were let off from the stadium roof.

Green Day’s Saviors tour arrived in London on Saturday after previously stopping in Dublin, Glasgow, the Isle of Wight and Manchester.

Armstrong has often spoken of his love for London, including hanging out in Islington and watching football games at Millwall, Arsenal and Leyton Orient.

Two giant inflatable footballs were sent into the crowd as the set from first support band Maid Of Ace neared its end.

The inflatables kept some of the crowd entertained ahead of indie rockers Nothing But Thieves in the main support slot.

“I think 14-year-old me needs to do this once,” said singer Conor Mason before he shouted: “Wembley.”

Mason could be seen saying “wow” as he looked out to the crowd during the performance.

Ahead of the gig, Green Day’s Cool stopped by The Marquis pub in Covent Garden, the scene of where the band played a surprise 13-song acoustic set last November.

Video posted by the pub on Instagram showed Cool walking down the stairs into the main room before he shouted encouragement to Laurie Wright who was performing on Friday evening.

He also took selfies with fans and was given a perfect 10 by the pub for his Guinness pouring skills.