Green Day brought an electrifying performance to the Grey Cup on Sunday, treating fans to a powerful four-song set filled with fireworks and even some audience participation. As the players left the field with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers leading the Montreal Alouettes 17-7, the stage was set up under the scoreboard in the north endzone.
A mysterious voice from the darkened stage proclaimed, “Can you hear me? This is Canada,” throwing in a cheeky F-bomb for good measure. Then the stage lit up, and the iconic band, consisting of singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, drummer Tre Cool, and two guitarists, kicked off with “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” the first single from their upcoming January album “Saviors.”
Despite the cool night, the 51-year-old Mike Dirnt flaunted his ink with bare arms, while Armstrong, also 51, rocked a leopard-skin guitar strap. The setlist included past hits like “Basket Case” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” where Armstrong even took a fan’s phone, filming himself singing.
“Get your lights up now. Are you ready?” Armstrong really got the crowd pumped, and before you knew it, fans all around the stadium were lighting up their phones in pure excitement. The whole thing wrapped up with the awesome song “Holiday,” complete with dazzling fireworks lighting up the night.
Formed in 1986 in Berkeley, Calif., Green Day boasts a remarkable track record, selling over 75 million records worldwide and earning five Grammys. The band, inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, recently played club dates in Milan and London, including a surprise gig at The Marquis in London.
Looking ahead, Green Day has a stadium tour scheduled to kick off in May in Spain, celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Dookie” and the 20th anniversary of “American Idiot.” Canadian fans can catch them in Toronto on Aug. 1 and Montreal on Aug. 3.
The Grey Cup festivities also featured performances by Simone Soman, who sang “O Canada,” and Jamie Fine from Ottawa, a four-time Juno nominee who entertained before kickoff. The Grey Cup itself made a grand entrance, arriving on the field in the back seat of a Land Rover Defender, with two Mounties ready to collect it.