Let me preface by saying I'm a Green Day fan. I don't everything they've done is amazing but I like the majority of it and they know how to deliver live. But I'm suspicious about this Billie Joe Armstrong meltdown at a festival in Las Vegas last Friday.(see the video below) Is it Punk Rock attitude or just another Rock Star routine?
I've seen a few meltdowns and walk offs at shows in the past.(some where they should've walked off too) Steven Tyler passing out mid-song, Billy Corgan getting hit in the face with toilet paper and ending the show 5 songs in. I saw The Greg Allman Band stop a show after two songs to "take a break" and then come back 30 minutes later with amazing verve which I'm sure had nothing to do with any kind of controlled substance. That's part of the excitement of seeing a band live, the spontaneous reactions to certain situations which hopefully add to the performance or at least make it weird. In my opinion a good band will plow through any unfriendly situations and blast it out to the end. Green Day are a veteran band that have played in much worse situations I'm sure.
Don't get me wrong. If Mr. Armstrong has substance abuse problems then I wish him nothing but the best of luck in his battles with it. I can't help but think though, Green Day has the first album of a trilogy coming out tomorrow(9/25/12) and this incident as well as his entry into Rehab seems to attract attention to the band at a convenient time. I have never struggled with addiction(to the level of having to seek medical help) nor have I ever been in a multi-platinum band with the pressure to top everything that they have accomplished every time they record or play live. I'm not married to Billy's wife or have to deal with the rest of the band. If this is real then I'm a cynical asshole and owe an apology to Billie Joe Armstrong and his family. But as the saying goes, "Any press is good press." Just ask Led Zeppelin or Madonna. So, am I just paranoid or am I just stoned?
If it was Madonna or Lady Gaga, I might agree and I don't doubt that every band, including Greenday, has done stupid stuff just for promotional reasons. I really don't think this was a stunt though. I honestly think it was genuine. From what I've seen at their concerts, he's very passionate about the show and makes every effort to entertain the crowd. He even brings people up on stage, including young kids, to sing with them and do some other stuff. I just think that because they give so much of themselves at their shows, when he can't do it, it's frustrating. That doesn't excuse his behavior though. Glad he's getting the help he needs.