Green Day have performed a handful of “secret” shows in recent months, previewing new material in venues much smaller than the pop-punk group’s now-familiar stadiums and arenas. While tight security for these events has kept most of the new songs from slipping out, fan recordings of several fresh songs have gradually been surfacing online. Hear six now:
â€¢ “Carpe Diem”
“This next song is about fucking being alive, every single one of us,” Billie Joe Armstrong says in a recording of “Carpe Diem” from an unannounced show at San Francisco venue Mezzanine on Tuesday. Accordingly, the song is a catchy, energetic pop-punk tune more reminiscent of ’90s Green Day albums like Dookie or Nimrod than their recent, high-concept LPs.
â€¢ “Sweet 16”
“I couldnt understand even one word but ITS SO FUCKING AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEE,” writes the top YouTube commenter of the only available recording of this song, from the band’s show in Costa Mesa, California, this past August. Neither could we, but there appear to be the rudiments of another back-to-basics pop-punk fist-pumper underneath the low fidelity.
â€¢ “Stray Heart”
Jaunty! This tune, again recorded at the Costa Mesa gig, offers slightly less muffled sound quality. Armstrong sings the Green Day equivalent of a love song over Motown-bouncy backing that recalls ’70s-’80s English punks the Jam.
Also from the Costa Mesa show, “Amy” is “a mournful ballad featuring Armstrong solo on acoustic guitar,” as SPIN put it in August. Armstrong says he “just wrote the song last week,” and the lyrics, as our reviewer notes, “refer to a troubled girl who walks ‘away from her drink’ and wears ‘blood stains on your shoes'”: a girl soon revealed to be Amy Winehouse.
â€¢ “Last Gang in Town”
From the same gig, “Last Gang in Town” is, as we put it, “a blitz of a punk tune â€” and could suggest the band of the sound’s next record.”
â€¢ “Stay the Night”
Another previously unreleased song Green Day have been playing live recently, “Stay the Night” actually dates back at least to June 2010, when this recording was made, during a Dublin, Ireland, sound check. It’s another guitars-blazing tune, with lyrics that appear to be just as direct.