This weekend was filled with a continual string of live performances at this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival, which took place in Las Vegas. Each act was allotted 45 minutes to take the stage, all with the exception of the band Green Day, whose time got severed by 20 minutes, which left barely enough time for the band to perform 4 or 5 songs.
So why did iHeartRadio take a considerable chunk of time from Green Day? Well, apparently R&B singer Usher needed 20 more minutes to perform, which was inexcusable in the eyes of Green Day’s lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, as well as mine. What makes me even more upset was that Green Day was never made aware of such a drastic change. I watched the video footage of Green Day’s segment, where it was obvious that the audience was having a great time cheering and waving their arms to the music. Before Green Day performed one of their biggest hits, “Basket Case”, Amstrong yells “Jesus Christ, we have 4 f—— minutes left? And they’re going to bring Usher back up here, God damn it!” The crowd cheered in agreement with his displeasure.
The performance continued with dancing and smiles on everyone’s faces in the audience, for only 2 minutes more. The act came to a screeching halt as Armstrong glanced over at the giant screen all the way in the back of the arena, which said that he and his other band members only had 1 minute left. “Gimme a f—– break, 1 minute left, you’re going to give me 1 minute left??” he shouted. The event crew near the screen resorted to immature smirking and girlish laughter as one of the crew pointed to the screen. Armstrong continues “Let me tell you something, I’ve been around since 1988, I mean, you’ve got to be f—— kidding me! I’m not Justin Bieber!”
Upon the epic Justin Bieber diss, the crowd roared with cheers in his favor while he finished his act by smashing his guitar and storming off stage. The way I see it, Billie Joe Armstrong had every right to be furious about the rash decision the iHeartRadio event staff made, as it seemed like they were getting a rise out of his mercurial temperament. Any attempt to display either raw talent or career longevity gets downsized while over-mechanized dance-pop rife with auto-tune, like the music of Justin Bieber and Usher (who discovered Bieber and brought him into the music industry), is exalted.
While I’m not a fan of Green Day and never will be, there is no denying that I have gained respect for Billie Joe for not being afraid to speak his mind and for making himself heard loud and clear, although he is short of a guitar. His time cut was unwarranted, especially to accommodate artists (and I am using the term very lightly) who are sub-par. People need to remember that the adage is “A star is born”, not “A star is manufactured”.