Call it the tour before the tour: Superstar punk trio Green Day once again played the part of normal people this week in an impromptu show.
Following the band’s surprise appearances at London pubs last year and a controversial, unscripted dig at former President Trump on ABC’s live New Year’s Eve show, the “American Idiot” performers popped up in a New York subway station this week. Late-night host Jimmy Fallon joined them in the effort to draw attention to Green Day’s upcoming album and supporting tour.
At the 47th–50th Streets–Rockefeller Center station, the band and Fallon wore costumes — long-haired wigs, faux facial hair, sunglasses and beanies — as seen in video shared on Reddit. As the crowd grew, Fallon, Billie Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool revealed themselves, launching into acoustic versions of Green Day hits “Basket Case,” “American Idiot” and a single off their new album, “Look Ma, No Brains.”
Several NYPD officers stood between the band and the crowd as onlookers pressed forward and sang along, their phones outstretched to capture the moment, according to video posted on X by @hannahfeldman_. “i saw @GreenDay tonight for $2.90,” she tweeted, referring to the fare for a ride on the city’s buses or trains.
Green Day has been drumming up attention with a string of viral moments ahead of the release of the trio’s album “Saviors,” which drops Friday.
The band will kick off its Saviors tour in May, starting the European leg in Spain. The tour includes several California stops in September, at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium, Petco Park in San Diego and Oracle Park in San Francisco. The band announced Wednesday that its shows would include performances of hit albums “Dookie” and “American Idiot” in their entirety, according to Rolling Stone. The albums turn 30 and 20 this year, respectively.
Green Day has performed regularly at festivals in recent years, including headlining the When We Were Young Fest in Las Vegas in October. The band also has generated a lot of buzz online leading up to the new release.
In May, Green Day crashed the set of local independent band Borderline Toxic at a London dive bar. As Borderline Toxic played a cover of “Basket Case” on a small stage at Slim Jim’s Liquor Store, Armstrong hopped onstage and started singing into the microphone with the indie band’s lead, Kerry Glass, who retreated for a moment from visible shock, according to video shared on Green Day’s TikTok. Borderline Toxic also shared video of the moment.
Then in November, Green Day popped up at another London pub, packing into the Marquis for a surprise acoustic show, during which Armstrong declared the small joint “my favorite pub ever.” Video from inside the pub posted by TikToker Will Gamble went viral.
“A pretty good cover band at the local in London tonight,” Gamble joked in the caption.
This time, Green Day seized the moment to promote its Saviors tour, which had just been announced a week earlier, and posted video from the pub showing fans chanting the band’s name. “London, The Saviors Tour let’s goooo,” the band wrote.
Times staff writer Carlos De Loera contributed to this report.