Last night, American punk rockers The Longshot stormed through Vancouver leaving a trail of smiling faces, sweaty bodies, and ringing ears at the Rickshaw Theatre.
Billie Joe Armstrong and Jeff Matika, both from rock group Green Day, along with drummer David S. Field and guitarist Kevin Preston, both from American band Prima Donna, are currently touring behind the band’s initial album 2018’s Love Is For Losers.
The fans started lining up early under the sunny skies, some even waited outback in the alley hoping to catch a glimpse of the band members.
It was surprisingly beautiful day out, considering it had recently rained fairly heavily.
Once we were all inside it was a rush to the front to lock down a position as close to the stage as possible.
Openers Frankie + The Studs, a glam meets punk hybrid out of Hollywood, started the night off with energy and attitude, stirring up some headbanging and mini moshing. The venue heated up throughout their set, and they left their mark on the crowd. A solid set from a talented young band.
The Longshot soon took over the house and carried on that energetic wave. Things became exciting and at times the entire audience seemed to be jumping in unison.
Billie and co. were cohesive in their performance. Each member showcasing their ability on their own but also riffing off one another and more importantly interacting with one another. It felt like a good group of friends just having the time of their lives, and sharing that with a room full of excited strangers.
A number of concertgoers knew every word to every song, including the abundant amount of covers the band performed; “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie, “I Fought The Law” by The Clash, “Walking Out on Love” by The Nerves, “Fell For You” by Green Day, and a few more. It was just an all-around entertaining night.
I was swept up in the intensity and spent a good portion of the night banging my head around and jumping with the beat.
As a 37-year-old, It brought back memories of my first concerts in the nineties. In fact, it really made me remember the last time I saw Green Day, back in 1998 at Thunderbird Stadium during Edgefest. A stellar show the culminated with drummer Tré Cool setting his kit on fire to close out the show. You can actually watch a live recording of that entire set, check it out – Green Day – Live @ Edgefest 1998.
The band said their goodbyes and departed the stage, but quickly returned to perform their 3 song encore. Mr. Field grabbed the setlist next to his kit, crumpled it into a tiny ball and chucked it. It bounced into the pit area between the band and the attendees, and some eager beavers quickly swarmed and battled to try and snag it. Things got a little more violent in the pit as people pushed and pressed their way to the front. My clothes were soaked in sweat, beads of it ran down my face.
The band once again said their goodbyes, this time the house lights came on.
A chant started in the front, “One more song! One more song!”
After a couple minutes, the house lights dropped and the band jumped back on stage to play two final tracks.
The mosh pit got a little crazier and a few crowd surfers could be seen riding around. It was a fantastic moment.
The songs were done and the group departed the stage for a final time. The house lights once again illuminated the charismatic venue. Tour crew filtered out and started packing away the instruments, taking a moment here and there to toss setlists and guitar picks into the waiting mass of eager fans.
The last setlist was folded up into a paper aeroplane and thrown out past me.
I walked over the front rail and just kicked around on the ground. To my amazement there under the rail was that crumpled up paper the drummer had tossed out earlier. I quickly grabbed it and jammed it into my pocket, it was a setlist. I then managed to convince one of the tour guys to throw me a guitar pick that was sitting below Billie’s mic stand on the stage. I was very pleased with my haul.
I, and the rest of the fans, soon vacated the venue on to Hastings Street. The air felt much colder now that even my sox were soaked through with sweat that probably mostly mine.
This was such a fantastic show. One that will live in infamy for years to come.
I hope The Longshot keep making music and keep touring. They have something really special together and I am glad I was able to partake in at least one night of this outing.
Thank you to both bands for such a great night out.