Billie Joe Armstrong reflects on the emotion of the Hella Mega Tour: “People were just grateful to be alive”

As the UK and European leg of the long-awaited Hella Mega Tour approaches, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong remembers just how special last year’s U.S. run was…

Billie Joe Armstrong reflects on the emotion of the Hella Mega Tour: “People were just grateful to be alive”
Emily Carter
Pamela Littky

At long last, it's nearly our turn! After the U.S. leg of the Hella Mega Tour finally happened last year, very soon Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer will be crossing the pond to bring their collective shows to the UK and Europe.

Naturally, we had to celebrate the whole thing in the all-new issue of Kerrang!, with exclusive interviews with Billie Joe Armstrong, Pete Wentz and Rivers Cuomo. And the Green Day frontman in particular described how, after a two-year break playing live due to the pandemic, the whole thing was such a joyous experience for both the bands and fans alike – something that will undoubtedly continue on this upcoming run, too.

“The crowd looked like this giant flock of birds freaking out,” Billie recalled of the first U.S. Hella Mega date. “Coming offstage, afterwards, no-one could believe what was happening with this shared experience for all of us. And it was like that every single night. People were just grateful to be alive, to be around people again. It was awesome. We wanted to make it a special tour back in 2019, but when it ended up [happening] it was an unbelievable experience.”

Before that show, though, he remembers how overwhelming it all felt…

“We soundchecked the day before and I was so overwhelmed by the size [of the place] – it was like the first time I ever played a stadium in my life,” he explained. “Everyone – the crew, every single person – was completely overwhelmed because no-one knew how this was going to go down. I was freaking out. Everyone was. We didn’t know what to think… the whole country had been through the fucking wringer. And here we are starting in fucking Texas.”

As we reported at the time, the tour kicked off at the Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, with Green Day dropping a huge 21-song setlist of singles and fan-favourites. Opening with American Idiot, the trio treated the audience to the likes of Holiday, Welcome To Paradise, When I Come Around, Minority, Jesus Of Suburbia and much more. And we can't wait to see what they play at these shows…

The new issue of Kerrang! is available now in WHSmith and all of the best independent retailers. Or you can order a copy online right here.

Catch Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer live on the Hella Mega Tour:


19 Ernst-Happel Stadion – Vienna, Austria
21 Antwerps Sportpaleis – Antwerp, Belgium
22 Stadspark – Groningen, Netherlands
24 London Stadium – London, UK
25 John Smith’s Stadium – Huddersfield, UK
27 Venue TBA – Dublin, Ireland
29 Bellahouston Park – Glasgow, UK


2 Paris La Defense Arena – Paris, France

Read this: How Green Day’s Dookie captured the spirit of a generation

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?