Photos & Video: Green Day's 9/15 show at New York's Irving Plaza was nearly three hours of new tunes, old favorites, costumes, kazoos & crowdsurfers.
Video: Green Day Live at Irving Plaza
"F-ck it, I'm gonna keep playing" was Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's motto Saturday night (September 15), as the band played its way through a nearly three-hour set at New York City's 1025-capacity Irving Plaza. There were costumes, kazoos and crowdsurfing as the pop-punk trio jumped between new material from their upcoming album "¡Uno!" (due September 25), hits from "American Idiot," classic rock covers and more well past midnight.
After opening act Lipstick Homicide got a warm reception from the crowd, the sounds of the Ramones' "Blitzkreig Bop" filled the club marking Green Day's turn to take the stage. Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool had barely kicked off the night with "Welcome to Paradise" before a mosh pit started in the center of the crowd and bodies began flying through the air toward the band. A teen fan, a dark-haired mini-Billie Joe of sorts wearing an "American Idiot" T-shirt, crowdsurfed his way to the front, jumped on stage and with the real Billie Joe's encouragement, made a big stagedive back into the pit.
During the extended set, Armstrong had the thousand-plus attendees -- which included celebs Dane Cook and Ellie Goulding -- hanging on his every word, and shouting and chanting and pogoing at his command. "We're gonna play all night," Armstrong shouted into the cheering crowd after running through a few new songs, including still-unreleased "Stay the Night," at the start of the show. "I don't got nothing to do but f-ck my wife after this!"
The trio balanced new songs -- "Oh Love," "Kill the DJ," "Let Yourself Go," "Carpe Diem," and a few tracks likely to arrive on the "¡Dos!" and "¡Tre!" installments of the band's upcoming album trilogy -- with favorites like "When I Come Around." Although mid-'90s hits "Longview" and "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" were not on the setlist, the audience didn't mind a bit. They danced and cheered as Green Day jammed through "Holiday," "Hitchin' a Ride," "Letterbomb," and a brief cover of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."
Armstrong was quick to point out some of the band's New York history, sharing that the first time Green Day ever headlined in New York it was at the this same venue on St. Patrick's Day 1994. "The only thing I can remember is there was green vomit all over the floor. Ah, the luck of the Irish!"
The mood turned calm and lit phones and a few lighters rose in the air for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Armstrong turned the microphone on the audience and everyone swayed and sang-along, one of many vocal accompaniments from the crowd during the evening. And just when things had slowed down, Green Day picked them back up again, jumping from cover to cover, singing Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," and a mashup of "Shout" with the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."
"We are so off-script, it's amazing right now," Armstrong shouted two hours into the high-energy set, just before kicking into 1994 hit "When I Come Around." Soon chaos ensued. A saxophone vs. kazoo battle broke out, Armstrong took over the drumkit from Cool for a minute, and the guys all donned wacky costumes -- 40-year-old Armstrong in a policeman's cap and white feather boa.
At 12:30 a.m., Green Day wound down the show with the seasonally apt "Wake Me When September Ends," and returned a minute later for an encore of "American Idiot" and new track, "99 Revolutions" before the house lights went up and beer cups hit the floor.