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American rockers Green Day celebrated 25 years of their breakthrough album Dookie at the 2019 American Music Awards on Sunday night.
Singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool launched their performance with their latest hit, “Father of All…,” from their 13th studio album of the same title, which is set to release in February 2020. The manic anthem, a song equally about dancing as anxiety and tribalism, has already hit No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart.
Entering the stage wearing sunglasses, Armstrong was the only bandmember in a white blazer, the rest donning almost entirely black ensembles. The performance, which was noticeably darker than their follow-up song, featured fire and a stage surrounded by screens filled with dancing people.
The band followed the new single with the Dookie classic “Basket Case,” ripping their sunglasses from their faces as the stage aesthetic turned from smokey and dark to a strobing green. The entire band bounded around onstage as the crowd jumped with them, which earned the trio a standing ovation.
“Basket Case,” was the band’s second single off their 1994 album. The song, which Armstrong has said was about his battles with anxiety, reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, and maintained that position for five weeks.
A counter to the more angsty aesthetic of ‘90s grunge, Dookie was the trio’s third album and first major label release, and catapulted the band into the music mainstream. The 1994 album tackled suburban boredom, anxiety and sexuality, and ultimately transformed the then-young punk rockers into an international phenomenon while also laying the groundwork for the rockers’ prolific career.
Green Day’s last American Music Awards appearance was in 2016, when the East Bay-bred musicians performed their politically frustrated “Bang Bang.” Off their 12th studio album release, Radio Revolution, the performance doubled as an aggressive criticism of Trump’s election.
Dick Clark Productions, which produces the American Music Awards, is a division of Valence Media, which owns The Hollywood Reporter.
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