Green Day in Austin
Punk rock superstars Green Day announced Thursday morning they would play an intimate show at Austin club Red 7. The show at the small 7th Street club with a capacity of only a few hundred is the second such downsized show inside of a month for the band, who premiered a batch of new songs to about 300 people on Oct. 27 at the Studio at Webster Hall in New York City.
Word began to spread Wednesday of a "secret" show by the Grammy-winning and multi-platinum band following a tease on the Twitter account of Billie Joe Armstrong—the band's singer and guitarist. Music fans on Twitter began reporting sightings of drummer Tre Cool around Austin in recent days while others reported seeing Armstrong boarding a flight bound for Austin earlier this week, and pieces of Green Day-specific street art began popping up on 6th Street Wednesday as well.
Speculation had the show occurring at a variety of Austin venues, including the new Emo's East, uber-cool Rainey Street hangout Lustre Pearl (which hosted major label acts Theophilus London and Austin's own Black Angels in recent months) and East 6th Street bar Shangri-La, which is celebrating its third anniversary this weekend.
Transmission Entertainment booker Graham Williams confirmed the locale of the show Wednesday night, saying the band has been in town working on new material recently that will almost certainly be bound for the followup to 2009's "21st Century Breakdown." The trio, which broke big in 1994 and has recorded hit singles such as "Long View," "Basket Case," "Wake Me Up When September Ends" and roughly a dozen more, also spent time recording material at Austin's Yellow Dog Studios over the summer.
Thursday night was be the band's second Austin gig in recent years (kind of) squeezing into a tiny Austin club on the spur of the moment. In May 2008 it played the small inside room of Emo's while performing as its one-off fake band/side project The Foxboro Hot Tubs. That show featured a handful of Green Day songs, but was heavy on theater with the band members keeping up their fake garage rock alter egos the entire night. But Thursday's show was the genuine article; an arena-capacity band bashing out worldwide hits in a club so small it will host a comedy show the following night. The line to get in was already stretching down Red River and onto 6th Street. It's was a night to remember.