Green Day plays ‘Saviors,’ ‘American Idiot’ in fantastic Fillmore concert  

Greg Schneider

Once again, East Bay rock superstars Green Day proved they can do no wrong, as an excited hometown crowd witnessed Tuesday night at San Francisco’s storied Fillmore. 

These guys — frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, drummer Tré Cool and their touring musician pals Jason White, Jason Freese and Kevin Preston — don’t mess around.   

They were on fire throughout the 30-song, nearly two-hour show focusing on tunes from their 2024 album “Saviors” (as good as everything they’ve done in 30-odd years; the hook in the tune “Suzie Chapstick” alone is to die for!) and their classic punk rock opera, 2004’s “American Idiot.” 

Brilliantly combining pop, punk and rock in angsty, super catchy songs with real melodies and messages about humanity and the state of the world, the band puts its money where its mouth is: The show was a benefit for United Nations Human Rights climate justice initiatives and MusiCares, a nonprofit assisting musicians affected by climate change.  

At the same time, the price of entry, for those lucky enough to score a ticket (one fan said she felt like she won the lottery), was quite reasonable at less than $100. 

There was no room for chatter on Tuesday, and no need for it. At the outset, Armstrong’s simple greeting was, “I have to see everybody singing and dancing,” and, sure enough, folks in the all-ages audience complied. 

Masters of playing to the small audience (Armstrong mugging with abandon, Dirnt flinging guitar picks deep into the crowd and Cool making faces as wild as Armstrong’s while setting the demanding beat), Green Day briefly slowed down for “Father to a Son” from “Saviors.”   

In rare poignant moments in the raucous show, Armstrong, acoustic guitar in hand, seemingly referenced his own offspring. And it indeed was Jakob Armstrong, who opened the Fillmore show with his rockin’ group, Ultra Q. (His bandmates are Kevin Judd and brothers Chris and Enzo Malaspina.) Jakob has a not insignificant resemblance to his dad.  

With both bands in fine form, the good news is that audiences will likely have many opportunities to see them in the near (Green Day plays Oracle Park in San Francisco in September) and far, future.  

Green Day, with a career that’s taken them from Berkeley’s 924 Gilman Street to stadiums across the world, truly has this show biz thing down.   

Here’s the April 2, 2024 set list: 

 From “Saviors”: “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” “Look Ma, No Brains!” “Bobby Sox,” “One Eyed Bastard,” “Dilemma,” “1981,” “Goodnight Adeline,” “Coma City,” “Corvette Summer,” “Suzie Chapstick,” “Strange Days Are Here to Stay,” “Living in the ’20s,” “Father to a Son,” “Fancy Sauce.” From “American Idiot”: “Jesus of Suburbia,” “Holiday,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Are We the Waiting,” “St. Jimmy,” “Give Me Novacaine,” “She’s A Rebel,” “Extraordinary Girl,” “Letterbomb,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Homecoming,” “Whatsername.” Encore: “Minority,” “Basket Case.”  

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