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The Bay Area punk band’s frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, annoyed by the time restriction imposed on Green Day’s set, gave the middle finger to the assembled crowd at the MGM Grand Arena — quite figuratively. “I’m not f—king Justin Bieber!” he screamed at concert organizers as the clock counted down to one minute remaining (the band was due to play from 11:05 p.m. with Rihanna scheduled for 11:50 p.m., but according to reports, other sets went long and the show was running 25 minutes behind). Armstrong then proceeded to trash his guitar as bassist Mike Dirnt followed suit with his instrument.
A wide-eyed mini-rant began halfway through the set and escalated at the nine-minutes-to-wrap mark as the band launched into its latest radio climber, “Oh Love” and one of its early hits, 1994’s “Basket Case.” Armstrong pointed out that he has been making music since 1988, clearly annoyed at a perceived disrespect, and admonished the “lazy ass” audience. Armstrong ended the performance in a huff. “One minute … God f—king love you all … We’ll be back,” he promised before storming offstage.
The second iHeartRadio Festival, which is produced by media giant Clear Channel to serve up its stations’ most popular artists both live in the flesh and via high-def web stream, featured such acts as No Doubt, Usher, Lil Wayne and Bon Jovi on the Friday line-up while scheduled for Saturday are Calvin Harris, Enrique Iglesias, Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, Pink and Pitbull. (For the record: teen pop star Bieber was not on the bill.)
Said Rihanna, who closed out Friday with a collection of her steamiest hits (among them “S&M,” “Birthday Cake” and “Where Have You Been”): “I feel special — I’m on the first night.” It seems Armstrong and crew didn’t share that sentiment.
Watch a brief clip of the freakout in the video below:
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