Green Day’s Billy Joe: Stage tantrums & what they mean

Initially this stage tantrum by the legendary Green Day frontman was billed as a “meltdown”, but looking at it now, we’re starting to understand a bit better.

This event, iHeartRadio Music Festival, was staged by Clear Channel in Las Vegas to punt an iPhone app. The event was presented by Ryan Seacrest and also featured Taylor Swift, Linkin Park, Usher and Swedish House Mafia.

This was hardly anarchy central, and obviously performances had to be planned and choreographed to accommodate everybody. So despite their punky roots, it’s now clear that Green Day find themselves deep in the mainstream. 

Ironically, following the success of their last two unconventional albums, they’re now in the very middle of the mainstream. Current album !Uno! is pretty much definitive pop-punk. 

So now, having played by their own rules, Green Day find themselves shackled by conformity and by their very own success. No wonder Billy’s feeling frustrated. They’ve sold 65 million records by not giving a fuck what people think. Or is it by pretending not to give a fuck?

Is this rant Green Day rebelling against corporate restrictions, or just Green Day fulfilling their role as the punks on the Clear Channel line-up? You’ll note that despite the rant, they still finish on time!

The LA Times have a decent analysis of the contradictions implicit in being Green Day these days over here. They also point out that, probably, Justin Bieber would’ve been allowed to go a little over time if he wanted to.

Whichever, this is still one of the better tantrums we’ve seen.