Green Day will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dookie and 20th anniversary of American Idiot by playing both landmark albums in their entirety on their summer stadium tour with the Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid, and the Linda Lindas.
“What a fuckin’ moment it’s going to be,” Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt tells Rolling Stone. “We’ve never done anything like this before. And there’s a really good chance we’ll never do it again.”
Dirnt estimates it’ll take about 90 minutes to play both albums. “We’ll then have about 35 to 45 minutes to throw down on other stuff,” he says. “And production-wise, doing these albums lends itself to some amazing possibilities.” (Green Day played Dookie straight through at England’s Reading Festival in 2013, and again last October at Full Fremont Country Club in Las Vegas. It took them a little over 40 minutes both times. American Idiot clocks in at nearly an hour on record though.)
At the moment, they don’t know if they’ll start the show with Dookie or American Idiot. “We still need to put our heads down and do real work to figure that out,” Dirnt says. “Before every tour, we do a lot of pre-production, a lot of thinking about how it should look and feel and sound, because it really matters to us. That’s the fun, but it also really keeps us on our toes.”
The set will also contain songs from their new LP Saviors, but the band never leaves a concert stage without breaking out their classics. “When you play a song like ‘She,’ ‘Basket Case’ or ‘Welcome to Paradise’ live, it’s a whole different energy,” Dirnt says. “It completes a circuit. There’s this energy that happens with the crowd and you. We love playing those songs. It’s as exciting to us as playing new songs live.”
Dirnt is also looking forward to the chance to reconnect with the Smashing Pumpkins this summer. “I look back at some of their songs with nostalgia,” he says. “When we first got big [in 1994], we joined Lollapalooza. They were headlining. And for both of us to still be around, and still be vital, is huge.”
The tour kicks off June 29 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. It wraps up Sept. 28 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. Prior to that, Green Day are playing a mixture of festival and headlining gigs in Europe. They’re also playing a special SiriusXM show at New York’s Irving Plaza on Thursday night, just hours before dropping Saviors.