"How many vintage Green Day fans are out there tonight?" asked singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong last night at the Fox Theater in Pomona, California, midway through the opening show of the band's U.S tour – the band's return from Armstrong's recent rehab. As if to get a closer look, he asked, "Who wants to join us onstage? Come on, let's go!"
The two-hour concert in the 2,000-capacity theater just outside Los Angeles was the first of four intimate warm-up shows (including a stop at SXSW) before heading out to arenas later this month. Just before their entrance, the Fox PA blasted both Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop," indicating the band's twin aspirations: classic rock scope with a DIY mentality.