Last Night: Green Day Returns Home to 924 Gilman

Green Day
The Enemies
Bobby Joe Ebola
May 17, 2015
924 Gilman Street

Better Than: Whatever you did on Sunday night.

“Give me something to do to kill some time, take me to that place that I call home.”

Green Day returned to 924 Gilman Street last night to benefit AK Press and 1984 Printing, two punk-run publishing companies which share a warehouse that caught fire in March.

Rumors had swirled for weeks around the “Special Guests” headliner for the Fire Relief Benefit show. But word travels fast in the punk scene and by the time pre-sale tickets for the show were put up online everyone knew Green Day was playing, and tickets were gone in under 10 seconds.

[jump] Because of how quick the tickets disappeared, speculation went crazy on the event page about how tech bros must have created bots to buy them all up. But the show last night wasn't filled with SnapChat CEO's or drone-flying bros, only the smiling faces of people all ages, screaming their lungs out to songs like “2,000 Light Years Away,” “Paper Lanterns,” and “Going to Pasalacqua.”

The prodigal sons had returned to 924 Gilman.

Introduced by Jello Biafra, it was Green Day's first show at Gilman since “September 6th, 1993” Billie Joe Armstrong recalled onstage, which was right before the band released Dookie on Reprise records. The long separation between the band and venue (although the group has jumped on stage a few times over the years) was due to the venue's policy of not allowing major label acts to perform. But a club vote allowed this special event to happen.

You could tell the entire band was thrilled to be playing where it considers to be home. We recently wrote about Armstrong shouting out the legendary punk club in his Rock n Roll Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech. The band played for almost two hours, which is typical for a Green Day show now, but every song was met with excited voices and the same energy the group had seen playing the intimate club in 1993.

Towards the end of the night the band invited a friend on stage, Tim Armstrong. The Rancid guitarist launched into Operation Ivy's “Knowledge” with the band. The energy at the show exploded and even the members of Green Day seemed to lose their minds, playing one of their favorite songs at their favorite venue. It was one of the rare moments in music that we all live for — a true spontaneous celebration of art.

Closing with an encore of “Minority,” Green Day gave Gilman the performance of a lifetime. Tears were shed, and many people in attendance (including yours truly) will never forget what they witnessed.

Gilman Street staff member Matt Bartels summed up the night perfectly, turning to me and saying, “I've never seen this many happy people at Gilman until tonight.”

Set List:
99 Revolutions
Know Your Enemy
Welcome to Paradise
2000 Light Years Away
Private Ale
Christie Road
Paper Lanterns
Stuart and the Ave.
Going to Pasalacqua
Basket Case
When I Come Around
Are We the Waiting
St. Jimmy
Knowledge (Operation Ivy cover)
American Idiot
Jesus of Suburbia

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