Day 7 of Belsonic got off to a strange, but pleasant start. Getting a phone call to get down to the venue early for a photo op with Green day and a load of puppies? Needless to say I cycled over in a record time.
ASISSI Animal Sanctuary brought down a litter of puppies that were 12 weeks old, along with 3 more mature, 12-year-old Beagles. I have to say I preferred playing with the chilled out Beagles than the hyper puppies. Members of Rancid and Green day. along with their family and friends got to hang out with the puppers and doggos, which looked to be a welcome relief from the life of touring.
Once the photos were taken and the doggos had left it was time to start shooting bands with instruments and not puppies again.
Green Day had support from the punk-rock band; Rancid. Just before they came on stage, the windy managed to pull down the band's backdrop, which made was a shame, given that I'd have a plain black backdrop instead. but thankfully the band were lovely enough that I soon forgot that.
Green Day's set started with a member of the band (maybe) running on stage in a pink bunny costume to get the crowd going.. as you do.
When the band made their way on stage they made sure to greet every side of the stage individually, showing they know how to interact and entertain the crowd, which became more apparent as the show went on.
Unusually, we were told that we could only shoot the first 2 songs, instead of 3, which had me worried about getting anything good in those 2 songs. To compound my worries, there was a walkway from the stage into the crowd and we had to choose a side before the band came on stage and you couldn't move across during.
So I decided to take the right-hand side of the stage, purely because there were fewer photographers on that side and allowed for me manoeuvring. I was regretting my decision halfway into the first song when the lead singer (Billy Joe) started singing on the walkway, facing the left-hand side. Typical.
But thankfully he kept moving about for me to get some decent angles on the walkway. He then brought a member of the crowd on stage to sing for the band and got her to leave the stage by diving into the crowd. something All the while my memory cards were filling up fast with all of these photo opportunities.
All of this went down within their first song, so I had already gotten an album's worth of photos. I probably could have left there and then, so shooting the first 2 songs didn't seem as harsh.
It was truly a pleasure to see the show, albeit a short one for me. It always makes me happy when a huge band comes and plays Belfast. If the city is worth of world class artists it makes you forget the bad stuff people can associate with Belfast.