Equality is punk rock

Racism, sexism, homophobia, and Donald Trump! Green Day takes to any means possible to spread their social and political opinions.

Photo courtesy of Greenday.com
Billie Joe Armstrong challenges the crowd to raise their energy.

On Monday, August 14th, Green Day held a concert in St. Louis’ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. They shared their views on several issues that affect our society today, rallying the crowd as a roaring unit of equality.

This concert marks Green Day’s second visit to the St. Louis area since the release of their latest album: Revolution Radio. The first being an exclusive concert on September 20, 2016 at The Pageant. With Revolution Radio, Green Day has accumulated a dignified three number one albums, and 10 of their 12 released albums have made their way into the top 10 bestsellers list. With such a huge influence on the punk rock scene, Green Day uses their on-tour opportunities to spread their message of equality. They preached against racism, sexism, and homophobia, as well as speaking of wanting to create a united America. A strong sense of nationalism was a motif of the night. Another topic discussed was the riots in Charlottesville

These topics affect people of all kinds, including students here at FHC. For freshman Hannah Joseph, these troubles hit close to home.

“[What they said] made me like them even more. I have been targeted by racist and sexist jokes. People see me as different from everyone else,” Hannah Joseph said.

As time progresses, so does our society. More people are becoming comfortable with expressing their sexuality freely and taking pride in their backgrounds. But with the courage of expression, comes the rebuttals of others. There are still those whose opinions differ from the ones that Green Day expresses. A select few refuse to accept ideas that differentiate from their own, and those are the people that this band is hoping to break away from. Showing hate to the minorities is a trend that has never seemed to die.

Sophomore Maddie Bennett has also been personally affected by the band’s powerful words.

“I was very shocked and touched [by their message], because I have friends who are gay and bi, and we’re all equal,” Bennett said.

Like Bennett, many who attended this concert were thoroughly moved by the energy being radiated by both the band and the crowd. Such an experience is difficult to put into words. When everyone comes together and becomes one unit, a bond is formed. The unexplainable magic of cooperation comes to play. The energy that is created in that environment is close to impossible to replicate. Senior and varsity softball player, Daisy Clark, was asked to describe the scene to the best of her ability. She described her surroundings with a sense of awe.

“It was a crazy ‘I don’t care’ kind of vibe. A free for all, almost. It was perfectly unorthodox.”

Not only did the crowd emit an energetic aura, but they also created a sense of comfort and reliance. In a world full of homework, exams, and social pressures, teenagers often find it difficult to enjoy themselves. Taking a break every once in awhile is essential. Concerts environments tend to supply a carefree and enjoyable environment for stressed teens. Hannah Joseph found the immense support of the crowd, refreshing and encouraging.

“It was very happy and entertaining. I was at my best.” said Joseph, “It was the best I had felt in a while.”

Arguably one of the best parts about this concert was that it was united. There was no majority of one age group. The sea of people was a fairly even mixture of diverse ages, races, and sexualities. The message was for everyone.

Not only does this band spread their message through spoken word, but also through the lyrics they sing, the actions they take, and their social media platforms. Taking a close look at their song “Troubled Times” reveals the band’s thoughts on the unwillingness of our society.

“What good is love and peace on earth/ when it’s exclusive?/ Where’s the truth in the written word/ if no one reads it?”

This trio of charitable men is constantly supporting national tragedies, including those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. The band performed live on Facebook in order to raise money for relief efforts, and even started off the campaign with $100k. The effort that this band puts toward aiding others in times of need, is one of the many reasons that their followers show them so much support. There’s no hiding the compassion that they share for the less fortunate.

In the eyes of many, Green Day is fighting to change America for the better. When it comes to the bandwagon of social reform, there is no maximum capacity, and right now, it seems that very few have a problem with hopping on it.