The Atlantic’s Spencer Kornhaber has a brutal takedown of Green Day’s
Billy Billie Joe Armstrong, who had a profane fit onstage when his band’s festival set was cut. You can see the tantrum at the link, but be aware that it’s really off-color. Kornhaber quotes Armstrong’s complaint that he’s “not f–king Justin Bieber,” i.e., more important than the teen pop megaseller:
Yep, Armstrong isn’t Bieber, and that’s the point. There was a time when Green Day and bands like them would be the most-important act at a purely mainstream festival like iHeartRadio (where set times are already notoriously short), but that time has passed. Rock is no longer the default genre for kids to listen to, and Green Day’s forthcoming trio of albums may not change that. Their new single, “Oh Love,” is the No. 2 rock song in the country, but it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 97. They’re still a popular band that sells out arenas, but that’s almost entirely because of their decades-old back catalogue. Of course, Armstrong and his fans have a right to be annoyed at being cut off. But why should they expect priority treatment at a festival devoted to showcasing music that moves units, especially when pitted against the likes of enduring hit-a-minute artists like Rihanna and Usher?
He is big; it’s the music that got small.
UPDATE: The band’s publicist says Armstrong is now being treated for substance abuse. Or spending more time with his family. Or something. I dunno, he looked pretty sober to me. Just mad and arrogant.