Punk Is Dad, And In Green Day’s Case, That’s OK.

Punk Is Dad: 27 Years After Its Debut Release, Green Day Showed On Saturday Night At The American Airlines Center In Dallas That Punk Can Indeed Age Gracefully.

All photos by Karlo X. Ramos.

Billie Joe Armstrong isn’t just a vocal advocate of the notion that punk’s not dead, having appeared in the 2007 documentary of that same name and helping argue that case. The Green Day frontman, at least in the form he took on Saturday night alongside his bandmates Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, happens to also be actual living proof that punk is alive and well — and that it just takes on a different form as it ages, is all.

Consider the increasingly popular notion that punk is, well, dad. It’s an idea with which Armstrong should be well familiar, considering the now-45-year-old starred in a 2016 film called Ordinary World that was built around this very premise, playing an aging-punk-rocker-turned-father who finds that there is indeed value into hanging onto the music of his younger, arguably more vital years.

It’s concept, too, that Armstrong now seems to honor, even if unintentionally, on stages. On his stage at the AAC this weekend, as the Green Day performed in support of its 12th studio LP, last year’s Revolution Radio, Armstrong and his crew further emboldened with the punk-for-the-masses milieu they’ve been reveling in since 2004’s American Idiot was embraced by the Broadway set. At least twice during Saturday night’s show, the frontman brought kids from the audience out to join Green Day on stage. First, he invited one young fan onto the stage only to instruct that he leave it by stage-diving off (see above photo set). Later, he invited another fan up from the crowd to play his guitar for him — and then to keep it once she was done.

It would be disingenuous, of course, to say that Green Day has gone full parental these days. A certain high-profile 2012 onstage meltdown comes to mind as an argument against that. So too does the idea that Armstrong’s still singing about how masturbation shouldn’t lose its fun.

But it’d be foolish too to argue that, in Green Day’s hands, almost 30 years into the band’s existence, punk is not becoming dad-like. Because, fact of the matter is, it is.

So long, though, that it comes with fiery stage rants about how racism, fascism and homophobia aren’t welcome in Green Day’s presence, who’s to say that’s such a bad thing?

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