American Idiot review by Daniel Calvin
TWELVE years after Billy-Joe Armstrong first belted out the immortal line ‘I’m the son of rage and love’, American Idiot the Musical continues to blow audiences off the global stage.
And neither emotion has been dampened in the intervening period!
The Class of 2016 that rock up into Glasgow’s King’s Theatre until June 4 may put on a stripped-back version of the bombastic Green Day show that knocked our collective socks off four years ago at the Clyde Auditorium, but don’t let that put you off.
This remains the musical equivalent of being battered around the chops by a confused junkie, with the high-octane performance dipping only to showcase Newton Faulkner’s talent as an acoustic tour de force. ie – he’s best at the quiet bits!
The straightforward plot serves mainly to introduce the pulsating songs from the award-winning album, with a few Green Day favourites – including Good Riddance (Time of You Life) and 21 Guns – thrown in as shameless crowd-pleasers.
Set against a backdrop of post 9/11 America, disaffected youths Johnny, Tunny and Will are desperate to escape the suburban hell of Jingletown, USA.
Will opts to stay at home after discovering girlfriend Heather is pregnant, while Tunny joins the army.
Johnny, frustrated with life and infatuated with a girl he sees in an apartment window (Whatsername played to perfection by x-Factor alumni Amelia Lily) creates a crazy, drug-dealing alter-ego St Jimmy.
No spoilers here, but just don’t expect anyone to walk off into the sunset!
Getting too bogged down in the storyline would be to miss the point of the show, however,
Just sit back, tap your feet, drum the back of your neighbour’s seat and scream your delight and appreciation at the rollicking performance.
American Idiot runs at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre until June 4th