Rehabbed frontman Billie Joe Armstrong leads frenetic two-hour set including hits, King of Pop impersonator and crowd-surfing fans onstage.
By Dan Solomon
Green Day performing at SXSW
Photo: Tim Mosenfelder
Little is known about what sent Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong to a rehab facility following an onstage rant at the iHeartRadio Music Festival last month, but to hear GD bassist Mike Dirnt tell it, the situation is pretty serious.
“Billie doesn’t take things lightly and he wouldn’t take rehab lightly, either,” Dirnt said in a new interview in Kerrang! magazine. “He’s in the middle of some really big things, but we’re going to pull through. It’s killing everyone. Green Day has never been a band that sits still, but sometimes you have to step back and let life go on rather than try to control everything.”
In an earlier interview, Dirnt said the hectic schedule to record and promote the band’s album trilogy may have contributed to Armstrong’s issues. Regardless of the causes, Dirnt said his #1 focus right now is making sure his longtime friend and bandmate gets well.
“I know that my friend’s life is in danger and that’s all I care about,” he said. “We’re brothers-in-arms waiting for Billie to return healthy, but we’re not going to force anything.”
Earlier this week, the band’s longtime producer and Warner Bros. Records chairman Rob Cavallo described Armstrong’s rehab stint as “no joke” and said it could put off more previously scheduled tour dates.
“His doctors are still evaluating,” Cavallo said. “All I can say is I don’t know if we’ll see him before or after Christmas. It’s basically undetermined when he’ll be back.”
In late September, Green Day announced that singer Billie Joe Armstrong was seeking help with unspecified substance issues.
“Billie Joe is seeking treatment for substance abuse,” read a statement on their Facebook page. “We would like everyone to know that our set was not cut short by Clear Channel and to apologize to those we offended at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. We regretfully must postpone some of our upcoming promotional appearances.”
Armstrong launched into a rant during Green Day‘s September 21 performance at iHeartRadio after being told that the band needed to wrap up their set, shouting “I’m not f—ing Justin Bieber, you motherf—–s. You’ve got to be f—ing joking … I got one minute left.” Green Day then smashed their instruments before departing the stage. And earlier this month, Green Day were also forced to cancel a concert in Italy after Armstrong was hospitalized. His bandmates would subsequently tell MTV News that he had “severe dehydration,” though he recovered in time to perform at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
Following Armstrong‘s hospitalization, the band canceled a series of promotional performances, and on Monday, they announced that they would have to pull out of a headline slot at the October 27 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience festival in New Orleans.
“Canceling shows is something we rarely do,” said drummer Tré Cool, in a statement announcing the canceled Voodoo gig. “We never want to let our fans down, and we are grateful for all of you being understanding during this time.”
Green Day still plan to release the next album in the series, Â¡Dos! on November 13.
We haven’t heard from Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong since the singer’s on-stage blow-up last month at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas preceded his trip to an rehab facility to deal with unspecified substance issues.
Bassist Mike Dirnt said earlier this month that the band’s hard work on their album trilogy caught up with them a bit and that, “at the end of the day when we got off the road the most important thing was my friend’s life.”
Now, the band’s long-time producer and Warner Bros. Records chairman Rob Cavallo has spoken out about the status of Armstrong’s rehab and how it might effect the band’s touring and promotional plans later for the rest of the year.
“His rehab is no joke,” Cavallo told Rolling Stone magazine. “He’s under medical supervision for a while to get him clean.” So far, Armstrong’s rehab has forced Green Day to cancel an October 27th appearance at the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience in New Orleans (Metallica has stepped in to replace their Bay Area brethren). Their tour is supposed to kick off on November 26th with a show at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre and keep them on the road through February, but Cavallo said there’s no guarantee they’ll make those dates either.
“His doctors are still evaluating,” he said. “All I can say is I don’t know if we’ll see him before or after Christmas. It’s basically undetermined when he’ll be back.”
The band still plan to release the second part of their album trilogy, Â¡Dos!, on November 13. A spokesperson for the band could not be reached for comment on the band’s future plans.
Two days after his on-stage outburst at the iHeartRadio festival made headlines, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has announced he will undergo treatment for substance abuse.
The band broke the news Sunday evening on their Facebook page, posting a message that read:
“Billie Joe is seeking treatment for substance abuse. We would like everyone to know that our set was not cut short by Clear Channel and to apologize to those we offended at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. We regretfully must postpone some of our upcoming promotional appearances.”
At press time, it’s not clear just what appearances will be scrapped in support of the band’s ¡Uno! album (out Tuesday), or if Armstrong’s treatment will effect Green Day‘s just-announced tour, which is set to kick off in November. A rep for the band could not be reached for comment by MTV News.
Armstrong launched into a rant during Green Day‘s Friday-night performance at iHeartRadio after being told that the band needed to wrap up their set, shouting “I’m not f—ing Justin Bieber, you motherf—–s. You’ve got to be f—ing joking … I got one minute left.” Green Day then smashed their instruments before departing the stage.
And earlier this month, Green Day were also forced to cancel a concert in Italy after Armstrong was hospitalized. His bandmates would subsequently tell MTV News that he had “severe dehydration,” though he recovered in time to perform at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
Leave your thoughts on Billie Joe Armstrong’s announcement in the comments below.
Some of the biggest chart-toppers celebrated the end of summer in flashy fashion Friday when they gathered for the second annual iHeartRadio Music Festival, a megastar affair that included sets from Green Day, Lil Wayne and Usher.
With such an A-list lineup, it was expected that there would be a few surprises in store for the thousands of fans that packed Sin City’s MGM Grand Theater. Among the evening highlights included an impromptu rant from Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong about the band’s set getting cut short, which preceded by a classic rock-and-roll moment as the band began to trash their instruments onstage.
During the band’s tune “Basket Case,” Armstrong, clearly annoyed at the one-minute warning at the back of the arena, stopped mid-performance to vent his frustrations. “I’m going to play a f—ing new song,” he said. “F— this sh–. Gimme a f—ing break. One minute left. One minute f—ing left. You’re going to give me one minute.”
Justin Bieber (who wasn’t even at the show) caught the wrath of the rocker’s frustrations before the band walked offstage, with Armstrong saying, “I’m not f—ing Justin Bieber, you mother—-ers. You’ve got to be f—ing joking. I got one minute. One minute left. Now I got nothing left.”
Green Day‘s freakout wasn’t the only eye-popping moment of the night. Pink joined No Doubt for a surprise duet of the band’s hit “Just a Girl.” It seemed like a regular rocking performance by the band until Gwen Stefani introduced the pop star about a minute in. Before sharing lines of the second verse, both pop stars kneeled to the concert floor to give each other a friendly kiss on the cheek.
Keyshia Cole was another surprise performer of the night as she shared the stage with Lil Wayne for a performance of the pair’s collaboration “Enough of No Love.”
Highlights will continue throughout the weekend as a second batch of performers (Taylor Swift, Pitbull and Linkin Park) will take the stage on Saturday evening (Saturday 22).
BEVERLY HILLS, California — Christina Aguilera has inspired many young singers, and “The Voice” gave some of them an opportunity to return the favor.
On Friday, the pop diva invited MTV News to her home in Beverly Hills (which happens to be the house from “The Osbournes”), where she revealed how “The Voice” contestants helped inspire her new album.
“At this part of my life, I feel that I’ve reached a place where I’m completely embracing everything about who I am,” she said, lounging on a comfy couch inside the backyard studio originally built for Ozzy Osbourne. The 31-year-old singer recently revealed via Twitter that her first album in two years, Lotus, will arrive in November, just as NBC announced her departure from “The Voice” for next season. Shakira and Usher will take over for Aguilera and Cee Lo Green, who will both refocus on other projects.
Aguilera said her experience as a coach and judge on the televised singing competition reignited the fire she had around the time she dropped her self-titled debut in 1999. Talking with the show’s contestants inspired her to get back to inspiring others, as the show allowed her to “see through the eyes of aspiring artists at the beginning of their journey, to be part of their journey, to see the hunger in their eyes and to sort of regain some of that back for myself,” she explained.
Despite the addition of pop-punk pioneer Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day as a mentor to her team, Christina’s crew on the season that kicked off earlier this month put her right in her comfort zone of sugary and glossy musical confectionaries.
“This year in particular, season three, I have a very pop-oriented team,” she said. “And they come to me and they’re like, ‘You know, I remember being in my room trying to dissect and learn all of the little ad libs and your technique and the runs and things like that, hitting your notes.’ It inspired me also to want to give more of myself vocally on this record to let the next generation of great singers evolve and be inspired once again to dissect and learn certain lyrics and things.”
Featuring the Max Martin-produced lead single “Your Body,” Lotus has been described by the singer as something of a “rebirth.” “The term ‘lotus’ means to me the unbreakable flower,” she said. “No matter the harshest of weather conditions, or its surroundings, it still survives and it thrives throughout time.”
Lotus will also feature plenty of slower songs, plus a track she described as something like “The Fighter 2.0.”
“I wanted to make a record that speaks to those fans who grew up listening to my music and yet reintroduce new fans … watching me on ‘The Voice’ at 6 years old who don’t know about my first record,” she said.
Download Christina’s new single, “Your Body” now on iTunes! “Your Body” is the first single from Christina’s new album Lotus, available everywhere November 13.
If Green Day’s revved-up performance on the floor of Staples Center at Thursday’s 2012 MTV Video Music Awards got you psyched, then you’re in luck. The veteran punk trio will hit the road starting November 26 for a four-month North American tour in support of their upcoming album trilogy, ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tre!
The first leg of the tour will begin with a show at Seattle, Washington’s Paramount Theatre and hit a number of intimate venues through mid-December. Then, in January, they will bring the noise to arenas around the nation, starting with a January 7 gig at the Resch Arena in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Those shows will last through a February 8 gig at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Members of Green Day‘s Idiot Club fan club can start buying tickets for the gigs on Wednesday, with each online purchase giving them access to a free download of ¡Uno!. The general public can start buying tickets beginning on Friday.
After canceling a show in Italy last week due to an undisclosed illness affecting singer Billie Joe Armstrong, GD rallied to play the VMAs and put on a blazing performance of “Let Yourself Go” on the floor of Staples in the middle of a jacked-up group of fans.
Playing on a pink-and-green floor and surrounded by screaming fans, the song was vintage Green Day, with drummer Tre Cool providing a lean, unrelenting backbone over which Armstrong chanted, wailed and sang-spoke. Finally, he invited the crowd to pounce. They happily complied, consuming the band in a tsunami of sweaty limbs and head-banging enthusiasm. Armstrong all but disappeared in the punk bedlam, the only indication he was still alive his pulsing cries of, “Let yourself go!”
Green Day ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tre! tour dates:
» 11/26 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
» 11/27 – Kennewick, WA @ Toyota Center
» 11/29 – Salem, OR @ Salem Armory Auditorium
» 12/1 – Sacramento, CA @ Memorial Auditorium
» 12/2 – Reno, NV @ Grand Sierra Resort – Grand Theatre
» 12/4 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
» 12/10 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
» 1/7 – Green Bay, WI @ Resch Arena
» 1/8 – Rosemont, IL @ Allstate Arena
» 1/10 – Wilkes Barre, PA @ Mohegan Sun Arena
» 1/11 – State College, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center – Penn State University
» 1/13 – Rochester, NY @ Blue Cross Arena
» 1/14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Consol Energy Center
» 1/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
» 1/18 – Manchester, NH @ Verizon Wireless Arena
» 1/19 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
» 1/21 – Fairfax, VA @ Patriot Center
» 1/22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Liacourias Center – Temple University
» 1/24 – Providence, RI @ Dunkin Donuts Center
» 1/25 – Portland, ME @ Cumberland Civic Center
» 1/27 – Quebec City, QC @ Colisee Pepsi Arena
» 1/29 – Toronto, ONT @ Air Canada Centre
» 1/30 – Cleveland, OH @ Wolstein Center – Cleveland State University
» 2/1 – Moline, IL @ I Wireless Center
» 2/2 – Madison, WI @ Alliant Energy Center Memorial Coliseum
» 2/4 – Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Arena
» 2/6 – Broomfield, CO @ 1STBANK Center
» 2/8 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
Parasite-induced illness be damned, Billie Joe Armstrong promised on the 2012 Video Music Awards red carpet that Green Day was going to “create some chaos” during their live performance at Staples Center.
Promise, fulfilled — with rafter-shaking, boundary-breaking purpose. Just days after the legendary band had to cancel a show in Bologna, Italy, because Armstrong was throwing up so profusely he had to be hospitalized, Green Day took the VMA stage to bust out “Let Yourself Go,” a cut off the first disc in their upcoming album trilogy, ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tre!, which is slated for release on September 25.
“I don’t give a damn anyway,” Armstrong sang, as if we hadn’t already figured out as much.
Performing on a pink-and-green floor and surrounded by screaming fans, the performance was vintage Green Day, with drummer Tre Cool providing a lean, unrelenting backbone over which Armstrong chanted, wailed and sang-spoke. Finally, he invited the crowd to pounce. They happily complied, consuming the band in a tsunami of sweaty limbs and head-banging enthusiasm. Armstrong all but disappeared in the punk bedlam, the only indication he was still alive his pulsing cries of, “Let yourself go!”
In retrospect and in a certain way, nothing in the performance was surprising, despite Armstrong’s illness and the frontman’s pledge to bring the crazy. Green Day is a VMA legend, having won 11 Moonmen (including Video of the Year in 2005 for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”) and performed three previous times at the show, beginning in 1994 with a raw, raucous rendition of “Armatage Shanks.” No stomach-churning bug was going to change the band or slow them down.
Before taking the stage, Armstrong told us on the carpet, “I’m doing better. It was a little rough,” adding with a sly smile, “But when you get a parasite inside your body — I’ve always had a parasite inside my body. This time he decided to dance a little bit more. We’re going to create a little chaos tonight, though. It’s going to be fun.”
Mission accomplished, Mr. Armstrong.
What did you think of Green Day’s VMA performance? Tell us in the comments!