An eclectic crowd flowed into Fiddler’s Green Aug. 9. Disaffected youths with body art are a standard crowd attracted by the punk rock group. But the audience that evening varied from bookworms, frat boys and ages ranged from seven to seventy.
An eight-year-old boy with a green mohawk and noise cancelling headphones beamed as his father, attendee Tom Hudson, cursed modern electronic music.
“This electric shit isn’t going to last a decade, but punk will always have a place because there is always something to rebel,” Hudson said.
Mandy Lane, a student from Colorado Springs, sang along to rock classics like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” with her boyfriend.
“Middle school me just has to be here, you know?” Lane said. “I haven’t listened to Green Day’s more recent stuff, but back then it was my go-to.”
As the concert began with lyrics railing against social conventions and rules, the audience fell into Armstrong’s hands as they obeyed every call for shouts and hands in the air. In the transition between “Are We the Waiting” and “St. Jimmy,” Armstrong paused.
“I don’t think you’re ready. I’m not feeling it,” Armstrong said, sitting down.
Only after the audience had reached the appropriate level of excitement did Armstrong cue the band to continue.
Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong kept energy high, conducting the crowd into a cacophony of yells, whistles and claps.
“Tonight, we put everything aside, politics, religion,” Armstrong said. “Because tonight, what matters is unity. Because together we will unite and collectively lose our fucking minds.”
At three points Armstrong called for volunteers to sing. One volunteer leapt off the stage to crowd surf. During “St. Jimmy,” Armstrong called for a guitarist and after a quick scan, found his pick.
“You play guitar? How old are you,” Armstrong asked, alluding to the kid’s guitar expertise. “You’re telling me you’re 11 years old and you’ve played guitar for 13 years?”
A security guard assisted him onstage as Armstrong hung his guitar around the kid’s neck. After briefly showing the chords, the kid strummed away, leading to the loudest cheer of the night. The audience chanted his name with Armstrong, “Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!” At the song’s end, after a jam session with Armstrong, Charlie left the stage with his new guitar.
The punk audience remembers the past, knows how to party and looks forward.