If ever there was an anthem to disillusioned, disenchanted American youth then Green Day’s American Idiot must be a strong contender.

Written as a reaction to 9/11 and encompassing the ennui and apathy that directionless young people feel in the face of globalism, terrorism and impending recession it is genuinely a hymn of the angry young man.

Extending its themes into a powerful, yet brilliantly entertaining, mainstream musical was as radical an idea as the original track – and even though it shouldn’t, couldn’t, possibly work, it does. It really does.

Crackling with energy, humour and gritty realism it’s a testament to American youth in the form of an extended music video – but with live performances and a thumping score.

Green Day and their frontman Billie Joe Armstrong are credited with the music and lyrics and a fine ensemble cast – not credited in the programme - rocks Cardiff’s Millennium Centre with performances that feel authentic, never stagey. The angst and hopelessness of American youth is a recurring theme in Green Day’s work, which means that the songs effortlessly form a narrative so the dialogue is kept to a minimum allowing the music to do what it does best, reflect a generation’s frustration at the status quo.

Juke box musicals are everywhere, but American Idiot is much more than a bit of froth dressed up to present familiar tunes to a new audience – the writers, Armstrong again with Michael Mayer, have managed to retain an authenticity that allows the passion of the recordings to fill the stage.

Unlike the CDs, American Idiot doesn’t appear to come with a parental advisory sticker, though it probably should, and it’s safe to say it is a million miles away from standard Broadway musicals. Although the central message is that ‘there’s no place like home’, it definitely isn’t Kansas