This from AJC staffer April Hunt:
When you become an Important Band – writing social protest songs, being analyzed in the New York Times, orchestrating concept albums – ”serious” becomes the expectation.
Thank God no one told Green Day that.
The band roared into Atlanta Saturday with a nearly three-hour show at Gwinnett Arena that opened with a drunken bunny, featured front man Billie Joe Armstrong alternately humping the stage and mocking self-important southern televangelists and ended 27 songs later with proof that rock ‘n’ roll is about the party.
“It’s time to get drunk and have some fun,” Armstrong shouted to the crowd already bouncing around from the crashing guitars and pyrotechnics of the first four songs.
Then he pointed to one woman seated on stage left. “I want to see Mom get drunk and throw up on the daughter. When you were a little baby, you did that to her, and now it’s payback time.”
“King of inappropriate here,” he laughed before launching into “Before the Lobotomy,” a song insensibly about family.
Families helped pack the arena. Parents who remember the shout-outs to slackers with the band’s 1994 debut “Dookie” moshed along with tweens who consider the Clinton years ancient history.
In one row, a 20-something in a midriff thrashed her head in perfect time to the man in front of her: a button-down gray hair who had gone casual for the evening by wearing a black polo.
Green Day made sure each one of them had, to paraphrase one of their songs, the times of their lives. With music tailor-made for plenty of fist pumping “Heys” from the crowd as it pogoed along to Tre Cool’s driving beats, it seemed like the show could last forever.
Even the second-encore acoustic solo by Armstrong seemed right. “Good riddance.”
So much for serious.