Haters Gonna Hate But Green Day’s St. Louis NHL Performance Was Rad


This was awesome. - JAIME LEES
  • This was awesome.

Everybody has been crying all over the internet all weekend about both of Green Day’s performances on Saturday for the NHL All-Star Game. And most of those people are just haters who don’t know how to have fun.

When it was announced that Green Day, Official Band of the NHL, was performing outside the Enterprise Center for free in addition to playing the televised event inside, St. Louis fans couldn’t believe their luck.

Green Day is a legendary punk band for older fans and a hugely impressive entity to people who care about things like Grammy awards and success on Broadway. In addition to decades of successful albums and tours, a musical based on the band’s 2004 album, American Idiot, has been a smash success and has brought the band’s music to a whole new worldwide audience.

At this point, Green Day is basically the Rolling Stones of punk: If they show up in your town, you’d be smart to attend so you can see how it all should be done. Professionals are professionals for a reason.

With this in mind, many longtime fans braved the cold and throngs of St. Louis hockey hoosiers (we call them “Bloosiers” on the south side) to catch a glimpse of these revolutionary pros. We all wondered how it was going to go down and if the crowd would mix well. Hockey is the official sport of punks, after all, so we had high hopes.

Party people. - JAIME LEES
  • Party people.

The event had been advertised as a “performance,” not as a full concert. The band was also playing inside (on ice) later during the televised All-Star Game, so the performance on stage outside was mostly just to provide the TV cameras with “rocking” footage of the high-energy band.

One block at 14th and Market was closed off, and fans had to enter a couple of hours early to get through security and claim standing spots to wait for the band. The crowd was very cold outside in the January air, but it was a nice mix of young and old, punks and sportos.

Just before the band came out, ruddy ol’ Brett Hull wandered down the front steps of the Stifel Theatre to greet and film his many fans. We maybe would’ve rather seen Jon Hamm, but this celebrity sighting perked us all up a bit and shook us out of our frozen stiffness.

Mr. Código Tequila in the flesh. - JAIME LEES
  • Mr. Código Tequila in the flesh.

Then Green Day took the stage and blasted through three songs (“Know Your Enemy,” “Bang Bang,” and “Fire, Ready, Aim”) for the thrilled crowd before slipping off of the stage and back into the front door of the Stifel. As a goodbye and an apology, singer Billie Joe Armstrong slid up to the microphone and said “We’re Green Day! We’ll see you in the summer time, all right?”

Confused fans started chanting for the band to return and they thought it worked for a minute when Green day came back to the stage a few minutes later and again played “Fire, Ready, Aim” (which is so damn catchy that it should’ve been a Hives song) for the cameras with Armstrong explaining on mic that the NHL said that the crowd wasn’t “going crazy enough” the first time around. Fans down front were happy to oblige for this encore, bouncing up and down and clapping to the beat.

Before they began that, though, the band took a minute to give the true fans a few sing-along lines of “J.A.R.” and “She.” Respect.

Without the repeat song, the performance of the three songs clocked in at just under ten minutes and the whole thing was over in less than 30 minutes in total. Many cheers turned to boos, but really mostly only in the back of the crowd. The front of the crowd was packed with fans who stood in line outside for hours and were happy to catch the band for free, if just for a while.

The Boulevard of Broken Dreams after the crowd cleared out. - JAIME LEES
  • The Boulevard of Broken Dreams after the crowd cleared out.

But you know haters gonna hate, so tons of hockey whiners took to Twitter to cry about the length of the performance that they didn’t pay one penny to see and then everybody freaked out even more on Green Day online later when they, uh, liberally sprinkled their televised performance with curse words.

Judging by what the band had to say about it on social media, however, they were just having fun with the whole thing. See Green Day’s posts below, followed by other reactions and posts from all of the babies who need their blankies.

Hey, Green Day, don’t think that we’re a city of whiners. Add us to your Hella Mega summer tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy and we’ll show you how much we can bounce when it’s not 30 degrees outside. You can bring your unicorn. It will be fun. Call us.

Email the author at jaime.lees@riverfronttimes.com
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