Green Day and Against Me! can’t check out of the real world, unread the headlines, or shake off the creeping dread that’s been weighing on them since November 9, and they don’t expect you to, either. Billie Joe Armstrong sings about this on Green Day’s recent single “Troubled Times“ — “Where’s the truth in the written word / If no one reads it?” — but in lieu of performing the song at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on March 15, he made a passionate plea directly to the band’s fans.
“I’m so sick of turning on the news and seeing all this bullshit,” Armstrong shouted, while bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool riffed behind him. “Watching cable news, seeing it on your Facebook page, seeing it everywhere you look — there are conspiracies and lies and corruption sitting in our pockets right now. We can look at it anytime we want, just to piss us off. But guess what? I’m not gonna let some man in a suit and tie that’s WAY TOO LONG for him try to say that there’s only one type of America.”
The crowd of 18,000 roared.
“This is not about who’s conservative and who’s liberal, or what race you are,” he continued. “This is not about what religion you are, or if you’re an atheist. This is about being together, everybody, here, tonight. We’re going to leave all this shit behind us. We’re going to rub up against each other. We’re going to look each other in the eyes. We’re going to sing together. We’re going to dance together. We’re going to fucking cry together. Goddamnit, this is an experience — and it’s all about unity.”
The Revolution Radio tour takes its name from Green Day’s twelfth studio album, which dropped a month before the election and put forth empowering, pacifist, and unflinching anthems in “Bang Bang,” “Still Breathing,” and “Troubled Times.” (These resonated with listeners, too: Revolution Radio was the top album in the country the week of its release.) This stretch of the jaunt, set to wrap on April 8 in San Diego, runs on a refreshed sense of political urgency from both Green Day and Against Me! Both bands are experienced in the fields of activism and speaking truth to power via power chords.