Billie Joe Armstrong, frontman of Green Day, has been doing some acting lately. He’s been in an episode of Nurse Jackie, and played a decent sized role in Like Sunday Like Rain, among a few other cameo acting-type roles. Generally I’m not a fan. In all honesty he’s not a very good actor and should probably stick with music.
However, upon hearing that his starring role in Geezer was that of an aging rockstar who doesn’t want to move on from the music despite having kids and a grown-up life, I figured maybe he’d do a better job, considering he’s more or less playing himself.
I managed to score a ticket to the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, where Billie Joe was supposed to be playing a short set after the movie. I knew a lot of Idiots who traveled to NYC to see the film and performance—myself included, as I had just come from Baltimore that morning—so it was good to catch up with some friends in the mile long line before entering the venue.
I was really confused as to why there was even a line. This wasn’t a concert where being in the front was important. This was a movie. In a theater setting. Where everyone would have seats. Why were people lined up for hours beforehand? We were all getting in.
Anyway. So a friend told me he had seen a picture of Tre Cool and his wife Sara in the city, so they would be at the premiere. Was he playing? Was Mike there too? We had no idea. Even better than that, he saw none other than Joan Jett getting into the elevator.
Joan. Jett. Was. There. What even.
Eventually we made it into the theater. Another friend Beffy told us there was an open bar. Safe to say I got pretty excited and got myself some kind of mixed drink simply because it was free. When I got back to my seat, Adrienne Armstrong (Billie’s wife) was behind me.
Then so was Joan Jett.
She was so close to me that I shamelessly took a few selfies with her behind me. Because Joan Jett.
Turns out she had a cameo in the movie. No one was expecting that.
The movie itself was really good. I was impressed with Billie’s acting, despite being worried about it beforehand. It wasn’t exactly the story I was expecting, where he gets back into music and learns to balance the two. It was the opposite. If anything, it was much more a story about growing up and passing music onto your kids, and accepting that once you’re a parent, that becomes the most important thing. While I personally don’t think he had to completely give up music to learn that lesson, it was still really cute.
I would actually recommend this movie, for more than just Billie Joe related reasons. I would watch it again.
There were two songs in the movie, both really great. “Devil’s Kind,” which I have decided is exactly what I want the new Green Day album to sound like, and “Ordinary World,” which is just a really pretty song.
After the movie, of course Billie came onstage to play a few songs. Tre joined him on drums, with Jesse Malin and Jeff Matika filling in for the unfortunately absent Mike Dirnt and Jason White. So it wasn’t full Green Day, but it was close enough for me.
They opened with “Devil’s Kind,” and then for yet another surprise of the night, Joan Jett herself joins the boys onstage. She played “American Idiot” with them, and then led into “Bad Reputation.” I about died. I saw Joan Jett play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2015, but this time it was happening up close and personal, just feet in front of me, with two-thirds of my all-time favorite band. Did that really even happen?
They also played “Scattered,” which is one of my absolute favorite songs. Love love love.
And then Billie grabbed an acoustic guitar and closed the mini show out with “Ordinary World.”
It was an absolutely amazing night, beyond words. Of course I wish the set had been longer, but it was so worth it.
I got really lucky after I left the venue. I somehow managed to catch Tre Cool leaving.
Now I’ve only got Mike Dirnt left to meet, and all of 11-yr-old Lindsay’s dreams will have come true. Weird.
Update 9/15/16: Geezer has now been renamed Ordinary World. Check out the official trailer!