Green Day make post-rehab live comeback

Band play two-hour set at South By Southwest

Green Day last night (March 15) played their first major live show since Billy Joe Armstrong’s onstage breakdown and subsequent stint in rehab.

It was not to be a low-key return. The band appeared at Austin’s Moody Theater, one of the biggest venues being used for this year’s South By Southwest festival, where they entered to the strains of the theme from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

The band ran onstage with energy to spare, and Armstrong commanded the audience to “Get your fucking hands up”. The first song, ’99 Revolutions’, saw Armstrong standing on the stage monitor playing guitar behind his head – while standing on one leg. Before the track had finished, he pulled a young member of the crowd onstage to sing the final verse, and the young man was so pleased to be there, he kissed Armstrong on the lips.

Later, Armstrong made reference to his recent problems. Speaking into a microphone that was switched off, he realised his mistake when a technician came and changed the mics over. “I wasn’t even on drugs,” he laughed.

The first part of the set contained a number of tracks from the band’s recent ‘Uno!’, ‘Dos!’ and ‘Tre!’ albums; the later part included songs from throughout their career. The track ‘Brain Stew’ was segued into a seemingly impromptu medley of rock and pop hits, including Guns N’ Roses‘ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and AC/DC‘s ‘Highway To Hell’ – you can watch fan-shot footage of this below.

Some of the stage tricks used were familiar from the band’s stadium shows, including the toilet paper gun and T-shirt firing cannon. The two-hour set ended with an epic ‘Jesus Of Suburbia’ and ‘Brutal Love’.

Earlier in the day, the band appeared at the city’s Paramount Cinema where a double bill of new Green Day films, Broadway Idiot and Cuatro! were being screened.

Green Day played:

’99 Revolutions’
‘Know Your Enemy’
‘Stay the Night’
‘Stop When the Red Lights Flash’
‘Stray Heart’
‘Oh Love’
‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’
‘Welcome to Paradise’
‘Christie Road’
‘Coming Clean’
‘Disappearing Boy’
‘Brain Stew’
‘St. Jimmy’
‘Basket Case’
‘King for a Day’
‘Shout / Hey Jude’
‘American Idiot’
‘Jesus of Suburbia’
‘Brutal Love’