×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Green Day, Weezer, Fall Out Boy Tease Stadium Tour With Tiny Club Show

“I want to say one thing on behalf of the three bands of the Hella Mega Tour: You’re welcome,” Billie Joe Armstrong declared at the outset of Green Day’s set at West Hollywood’s venerably tiny Whisky-a-Go-Go (capacity: 500). There, on the Sunset Strip on a Tuesday night, a triple bill that included Fall Out Boy and Weezer took the stage as a sampler of their just announced summer stadium dates. Because, if you’re going to go on tour playing the biggest venues known to man, why not promote it by playing one of the smallest?

Armstrong made the triple-header seem like they were a mission from God, “because rock ‘n’ roll is f—ing alive,” he declared. “And you’ve got to get every ounce of it, all the time!”

Indeed, smartphones were not confiscated or put into pouches: The bands seemed to be banking on the small number of fans allowed in disseminating footage of the controlled mayhem, with implicit subtitles: Now imagine this in Fenway Park (or Dodger Stadium, or Wrigley Field…). 

Nostalgia was in the air to be sure, what with hit-packed sets covering a few dozen of the most impactful rock-adjacent songs of the last 20 years. The asterisk in this statement being that, while the three bands all share the same management — Los Angeles-based Crush, home to Sia and Panic! at the Disco, among others acts — sonically they don’t overlap much. Weezer’s is a steady pop-rock gallop where Fall Out Boy is an assault of echoey chants and Green Day is a relentless pummeling of guitars and punk-proud melody, the combination of which, the Whisky show proved, is pretty undeniable as concert bills go.

Of course, it helped that those on stage seemed genuinely enthused about the gig and future trek, starting with Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo’s choice for stage-wear: a Fall Out Boy T-shirt. Armstrong also offered a fixating visual, smearing his lips and face in bright red lipstick.

Weezer - Rivers CuomoGreen Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer in concert at Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Sep 2019
CREDIT: Christopher Polk/Variety/Shutter

During Fall Out Boy’s middle set, bassist Pete Wentz in particular seemed to take delight in the amount of stage diving going on, something the group surely hasn’t experienced nearly this much of since graduating to the barrier- and bouncer-friendlier arena level. Despite the usual stateside signs stating that stage diving was cause for ejection, Wentz was a bad example, throwing himself into the crowd three times, two of those while playing bass.

“People ask us what it was like” in the days when Fall Out Boy was forming out of the Chicago hardcore scene, Wentz said. “It was like this, with less suits buying expensive drinks, and less babies.” He didn’t seem to mind the latter developments too much as the cost of growing up and into mature headliner status, but was clearly enjoying having his bruiser youth flash before his eyes.

Fall Out BoyGreen Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer in concert at Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Sep 2019
CREDIT: Christopher Polk/Variety/Shutter

All three groups played the new singles they had simultaneously released earlier in the day to promote the tour announcement (and also preview their individual upcoming albums) — and each played for just under an hour. Living very much up to the title of their May 2020 album “Van Weezer,” Weezer performed “The End of the Game,” a song that could not have sounded more like Van Halen and less like traditional Weezer if the group had actually brought Eddie Van Halen on stage and forced him to shred at gunpoint. Later, after introducing their cover of Toto’s “Africa” with the disclaimer “Speaking of not giving a f—,” Rivers Cuomo put his guitar down to wander around the entirety of the club as he sang.

Fall Out Boy followed suit with the brand new “Dear Future Self (Hands Up),” sans the recorded guest part from Wyclef Jean. When it came time for Green Day to perform their new song, “Father of All…,” they knew what everyone was thinking: “Too f—ing short!” declared Armstrong. He has already announced that the group’s spring album will only be 26 minutes long, and having the songs clock in at around two and a half minutes, as this one does, will obviously be a reason for that economy. At the Whisky, he had a solution for that: have the band immediately run through the song a second time.

The rest of Green Day’s set, which kicked off with “American Idiot” — setting a frenzied mood fitting  of the Trump era — offered the band’s signature call-and-response on songs like “Holiday” and “Minority,” and plenty of opportunities for the crowd, industry-heavy as it was, to lead on vocals.

Armstrong occasionally went into preacher mode. He urged those in attendance to take off their clothes for a nude riot on the Sunset Strip. “We’re gonna go streaking down Sunset Blvd. tonight!” he announced. “Rock ‘n’ roll is f—ing freedom!” Much as the crowd seemed ready to follow his every command, they took a “you first” attitude toward this one. We can only guess whether they took his advice when he demanded: “Get drunk and have sex tonight! Don’t worry about what’s politically correct. Because that’s what f—ing life is supposed to be about. Use your vagina! Use your penis!” After a pause, Armstrong smartly added, “I’m going to stop there.”

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • U2, Seattle 14 May 2017

    U2 to Finish 'Joshua Tree' 2019 Tour With Band's First Gig in India

    U2 is wrapping up its 2019 “The Joshua Tree” tour with a concert at Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium, on Dec. 15 – the first time the group will have performed in India. The newly added date comes at the end of an Asia-Pacific tour that was announced months ago. The tour is a continuation of [...]

  • Crime Placeholder

    Former AEG, First Access Exec Adam Lublin Charged With Sexual Abuse, Burglary

    Adam Lublin, a former executive at AEG and First Access Entertainment, was arraigned Monday morning in Manhattan Criminal Court on two counts of burglary and one count of sexual abuse, according to the New York Post. The executive allegedly snuck into a neighbor’s apartment, sexually abused her and stole her undergarments. According to the report, [...]

  • Kendrick Lamar House Manhattan Beach

    Kendrick Lamar Drops Nearly $10 Million on Manhattan Beach Mansion

    When he’s not performing to packed arenas worldwide — the international “Damn” tour wrapped up last year with over $62 million in gross receipts — Kendrick Lamar has long resided in L.A.’s South Bay region, specifically in the posh seaside city of Manhattan Beach. And after a reported long spell as an area home renter, [...]

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify VP Paul Vogel Talks Subscription Prices, Label Licenses, Podcasts

    The annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference gives representatives from major companies the opportunity to present to the investment community, and Paul Vogel, Spotify’s VP and head of financial planning & analysis, treasury and investor relations, spoke on the streaming giant’s behalf on Tuesday morning. While many of his comments were statements frequently heard in the [...]

  • Def Jam, Astralwerks Launch Label Divisions

    Def Jam, Astralwerks Launch Label Divisions in South East Asia

    Universal Music Group today announced what it calls a significant expansion of its recorded music operations across South East Asia with the launch of two new label divisions: Def Jam South East Asia, to focus on the hip-hop scene within the region, and Astralwerks Asia, a label “with a true focus on nurturing talent within Asia across [...]

  • WME Nashville Promotes Becky Gardenhire to

    WME Nashville Promotes Becky Gardenhire to Co-Head

    Becky Gardenhire has been elevated by WME to the role of co-head of the Nashville office, making her the woman holding the highest rank at any agency rooted in the city. Gardenhire joins three other co-heads of WME Nashville, Scott Clayton, Joey Lee and Jay Williams. While Nashville agencies have been caught up in a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content