Green Day

Photos and Review by Jennie Book

The Fillmore in San Francisco was the city’s hottest destination on the night of April 2nd, with people flying in from around the country to watch the Bay Area’s favorite sons take the stage to play albums Savior and American Idiot in their entireties back to back. You know the band, I don’t even have to tell you, because Green Day has been performing for thirty five-plus years, and Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt are still going strong as ever with energy onstage that rivals even the freshest pop-punkers.

The party started on the sidewalk outside the venue with shut-out hopefuls holding signs pleading for spare tickets. The show had gone on sale about four days prior, a surprise to almost everyone, and they sold out lightning fast, with the 1,300 person venue being super strict about keeping to capacity rules under the watchful eye of the fire marshal. To get inside, Fillmore staffers checked names off clipboards, and if yours wasn’t on the list or didn’t match ID, no entry wristband for you.

Inside, Billie Joe Armstrong’s son Jakob’s band Ultra Q kicked off the night in the opening spot and got the crowd fired up, and grew their fanbase over an almost hour-long set with their own pop punk sound. Frontman Jakob looked excited to be playing the hallowed Fillmore hall and seemed a little awestruck at the history of the storied place. The crowd was into them because they rocked the house, not because of Jakob’s famous dad, and it’s fun when talent rubs off in a real way and the recipient of a genetic goldmine is humble and grateful about it.

Before Green Day took the stage a couple of spokespeople got on the mic to talk about how the Recording Academy-hosted evening was a benefit for the United Nations Human Rights climate justice initiatives and a MusiCares climate fund to benefit musicians affected by climate change. Green Day has always been lauded for their progressive ideals and this night honored them for that, and at the same time raised money for great causes. The organization Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance ( is the org to check out for getting more involved.

When Green Day took the stage, the excited and privileged-to-be-there crowd was ready to go. The band kicked right into the album Savior, playing first song “Saviors,” then “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” and “Look Ma, No Brains!” Billie Joe is as charismatic a frontman as ever, and in between songs threw in some pointed remarks about Q Anon and Marjorie Taylor Greene, and yelled “Whose finger do you want to be on the nuclear bomb?” about our upcoming Presidential choices. He didn’t tell the crowd to put down their phones at The Fillmore like he has at other small venue shows recently, maybe because the largely Gen X crowd seemed happy just enjoying the moment mostly tech-free, right here, right now. But the good news is that enough readily available photos and video have come out of the show to commemorate the evening for those who couldn’t get a ticket.

The mosh pit at center barricade got a lot of action during the night, and the crowd surfers had fun times too. The balcony, usually open to whomever wants to grab a seat and watch from the second story, was closed to all but friends and family, and it looked like they were having a great time up there.

Fancy Sauce” ended the Savior portion of the set and the band kicked quickly into “American Idiot,” with “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” and encore “Minority” being the big singalong crowd pleasers. And then as a super San Francisco show bonus, they played “Basket Case” to officially end the night, which wasn’t on the printed setlist and maybe wasn’t planned, but was definitely the perfect way to end the show.

It was undeniably a special evening, and the lucky souls in the crowd who got in will remember their time at The Fillmore with Green Day for years to come. Luckily we’ll all have more chances to see them when they embark on their stadium tour this summer, so keep an eye on and @greenday for all the latest tour news and info.