The band pick out four people from the crowd at their free San Francisco show to run through some Ramones numbers...

GREEN DAY picked four audience members to play a RAMONES song onstage at a two-hour free show in front of SAN FRANCISCO’s CITY HALL yesterday (November 5).

The concert and preceding ‘Million Band March’ were organised by local musician Ian Brennan to protest about the plight of the City’s arts community under current

mayor Willie Brown’s pro-business policies. Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong spoke of his friends in bands who had been evicted from studios and premises and urged the crowd to vote for Proposition L – a referendum-type question on the gentrification issue – in Tuesday (November 7)’s election.

After an hour of live favourites such as ‘Welcome To Paradise’ and ‘Hitchin ‘A Ride’, Armstrong asked for audience requests. The band satisfied demands for ‘Disappearing Boy’ (from 1990’s ’30/Smooth’, ‘J.A.R.’ (from the ‘Angus’ soundtrack), b-side ‘I Wanna Be On T.V.’ and The Who’s ‘My Generation’. They also covered the Joni Mitchell protest classic ‘Big Yellow Taxi’.

Near the end of an impressive performance the Bay Area band invited audience members onstage to play their instruments. Out of hundreds claiming to possess the minimum required knowledge of three chords, four were selected. Billie Joe, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt then coached their stand-ins through a very passable rendition of The Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’.