In his recent Rolling Stone interview about addiction, meltdown and hard-won recovery, Green Day singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong recalled a show in Austin, Texas in the late Nineties when he decided to stop worrying about his punk credibility and finally act like a rock & roll star onstage: to give his band and songs the showmanship they deserved in concert. It took liquid courage, he admitted – a step with distant, ultimately disastrous consequences. On March 15th, a newly sober, supercharged Armstrong was back in Austin with bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool for a special SXSW appearance at the Moody Theater – a show that started with Armstrong bolting across the stage as if shot from a cannon, into the incendiary challenge of "99 Revolutions," then demanding that his audience respond in kind. "This is not a fucking party, this is not a first date, it's not a bar mitzvah – it's a celebration!" Armstrong yelled soon after, during an extended instrumental breakdown in "Letterbomb," accenting his impatience with rock-god action and comic relief: punctuating Cool's explosive downbeats with Pete Townshend-style leaps from a riser; playing part of his guitar solo in "Know Your Enemy" perched on one leg as if he'd suddenly become a member of Jethro Tull.
March 16, 2013
Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and a lucky fan he brought on stage performs at the SXSW Music Festival on Friday, March 15, 2013 at ACL Live at Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. After nearly 25 years and 15 albums, the band kicks off a new world tour this month and is the subject of two documentaries that premiered Friday at the SXSW Film Festival.
More photos at Dallas News: HERE
March 16, 2013
There was really only conclusion to be made after watching Green Day perform on Friday night:
Vocalist-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, whose substance abuse problems landed him in rehab and momentarily derailed his East Bay punk-pop band's career, was in herculean form during Green Day's showcase at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival.
His vocals were on spot. His guitar licks were sensational. And, most significant, he was back to being the charismatic, playful and exuberant frontman who millions of fans fell in love with in the first place.
It couldn't have come at a better time.
Although there was no official proclamation, it certainly felt like it was Green Day Day in Austin, Texas on Friday.
Besides the concert -- Green Day's first major performance since Armstrong's rehab stint -- the day also featured screenings of both new Green Day documentaries as part of the SXSW film festival.
The first was "Broadway Idiot," a highly polished documentary that recounts the path of the band's "American Idol" musical from its conception to its debut at Berkeley Repertory Theatre to, eventually, a hit run on Broadway.
March 16, 2013Filed under:
March 16, 2013
Rockers Green Day make a stop at South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, before tour. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, off a rehab stint, pogoed and belted out tunes with fervor.
AUSTIN -- Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day have some recent experience with Broadway but they were upstaged Friday night at South By Southwest.
About two-thirds of the way through the two-hour concert at Austin City Limits Live's Moody Theater, the band played their breakthrough hit "Longview" from mega-platinum album Dookie. Understudy Ty Ehlinger, 15, of Richmond, Texas, who attended a Green Day concert three years ago, had prepared for his cue.
Before the third verse, Armstrong queried the crowd for a singer to finish the song. After a brief search, he gestured to Ehlinger, near the frong of the stage wearing a red Green Day T-shirt. He proceed to sing the verse, complete with its reference to masturbation, all the while stalking the stage and gesturing for the crowd to behind him.
As the band took over the chorus, he hopped up on the drum riser and jumped as the song ended. He stayed on stage and the crowd audibly cheered for him. Then the chant arose to "Jump, jump!' So he got a running start and lept into the dense din at the front of the stage.
Afterwards, he posed for pictures with