To be totally honest, we don’t picture ourselves very awake at 11am on the second day of Reading festival, let alone running across the festival site to catch some band.
However, that’s what we’re doing with hundreds - maybe even thousands - of other festival attendees as news spreads of the ‘secret’ set (the one we all knew was happening) which is set to start at 11am.
And then it begins. The iconic figure of Billie Joe Armstrong emerges on the NME/Radio 1 stage and all our dreams of that secret Green Day Reading set (we think rumours started for that one in the nineties…) are coming true.
The next hour-and-a-bit (against all wishes, no doubt) is pure joy. From the opening chords of ‘Welcome To Paradise’ to the end of ‘Minority’, an entire legion of half unsuspecting fans are fixated with the trio. We’re treated to all manner of hits from their huge back catalogue, and granted, it’s not quite ‘Dookie’ but they don’t put a foot wrong.
The atmosphere is electric from the start, and the tent is full just ten minutes into their set, with voices and spirits raised in celebration - Billie Joe’s words, not ours - of such a special instance.
And despite the fact that they’re at a festival, there are plenty of classic Green Day moments: grabbing a fan up to accompany them on ‘Know Your Enemy’, tee-peeing the tent, running around with a water pistol and of course, a classic BJA moon.
However, by the time that the trio are being pulled offstage - quite literally, at one point - there’s a bittersweet sense of disappointment that it’s coming to an end. And whilst we’d happily have them play all day, we probably can’t complain too much.
We did get to watch Green Day after all…