Coming on as The Ramones’ Rock and Roll High School faded, Green Day exchanged pleasantries with a packed Odyssey and launched straight into 21st Century Breakdown.
Lead man Billy Joe Armstrong couldn’t figure who to sing to — the left, the right or the sweating masses at his feet. Playing to the crowd was the order of the night.
The music, when not broken by continuous lauding of the band’s punk rock credentials, was good, very good in fact.
A second guitarist and a keyboard player provided Armstrong with the freedom he needed to whirl manically on his invisible rubber-band-merry-go-round.
The rhythm section was tight, if at times forgettable and predictable. Thankfully Green Day’s catalogue of catchy power pop anthems restored some order to proceedings.
Yet along the way, in the 12 years since Green Day last played Belfast, the show seemed to have got bigger than the music, and for a band who hold punk rock in such high regard that’s a sad progression.