On Thursday night, and well into Friday morning, punk storytellers Green Day squeezed into Austin dive Red 7 (capacity: 500) for an intimate show that featured old favorites, drunken covers and nearly an album's worth of early listens to new songs.
So, how was it?: Tight.In such a small room, the packed-in crowd was spilling onto the stage pretty much from the opening chords of "Welcome to Paradise." The band busted out five new songs from their as-yet-untitled ninth studio album early in the set (sample titles "Nuclear Family, "Carpe Diem," "Stop When the Red Lights Flash," "99 Revolutions"), immediately followed by an mostly improvised ramble through over the band's catalog: "Longview" was a given, but who went into the night expecting to hear "Dominated Love Slave"? The band apparently enjoyed playing covers so much, each one was played at least twice; two apiece for the Foxboro Hot Tubs' "It's Fuck Time" and "Stop Drop and Roll" and three non-consecutive runs through the Misfits' "Hybrid Moments." Said frontman Billie Joe Armstrong before their third Misfits lap, "Lonestar has gotten the best of me." Through two and a half hours that ended with "Know Your Enemy" the band (and touring guitarist Jason White) kept things mostly on the rails even if countless tallboy beers made everything feel unhinged most of the time — which is pretty much what you want from a punk show in the first place.
Hear SPIN's guide to six new Green Day recordings here.
What does the new stuff sound like?: Hard to say what these songs will sound like when they wind up on the band's forthcoming album, but they've got lots of the grandiose tendencies Green Day have shown on its last two records, which have accurately been classified as "rock operas." "99 Revolutions" is a timely urge for social unrest and obviously a callback to the band's leitmotif in recent years; "Amanda" names the female antagonist who inspired earlier songs like "She" and "Whatshername"; and "Stop When the Red Lights Flash" confirms that Armstrong isn't about to outgrow his late-career love of extended breakdowns that let him lean over with his guitar between both legs and really dig into a solo.
Quoth Billie Joe:
• "Holy shit, is that a 40 ouncer? Did you know my wedding was BYOB?"
• "Is this thing on? That's what my wife asks me when we're having sex."
• "Do you know what twurking is? It's like a vertical lap dance. I want everyone grinding up against the person next to you for this one."