HAMILTON - Green Day rocked the Grey Cup on Sunday with a powerful four-song mini-set complete with fireworks and audience participation.

After the players left Tim Hortons Field with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers leading the Montreal Alouettes 17-7 at the half, the stage was readied under the scoreboard in the north endzone.

“Can you hear me? This is Canada,” said a voice from a darkened stage, with an F-Bomb thrown in for good measure.

Then the stage was lit and the band - singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool plus two guitarists - opened with “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” the first single from their upcoming January album “Saviors.”

On a cool night, the 51-year-old Dirnt had bare arms showing off plenty of ink. Armstrong, also 51, wore a leopard-skin guitar strap.

Then it was a diet of past hits with “Basket Case” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” during which Armstrong took a phone from a fan, holding it high to film as he sang.

“Get your lights up now. Are you ready,” Armstrong then yelled as fans around the stadium lit up their phones.

After fireworks shot high in the dark, the band finished with “Holiday.”

Formed in 1986 in Berkeley, Calif., Green Day has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and won five Grammys. The band was Inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

The band played club dates in Milan and London earlier this month, including a surprise performance Nov. 9 at The Marquis, a London pub near Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square.

The band has scheduled a stadium tour to kick off in May in Spain. The tour, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the album “Dookie” and 20th anniversary of “American Idiot,” brings Green Day to Toronto on Aug. 1 and Montreal on Aug. 3.

Simone Soman of Waterdown, Ont., sang “O Canada” prior to kickoff Sunday. The visually impaired singer made it to the semifinals on the second season of “Canada's Got Talent.”

Ottawa's Jamie Fine, a four-time Juno nominee, entertained prior to kickoff.

The Grey Cup arrived minutes later, driven onto the field in the back seat of a Land Rover Defender, with two Mounties awaiting to collect it

Past performers at Grey Cup have included Keith Urban, Shania Twain, Nickelback, Alessia Cara, Lenny Kravitz, Gordon Lightfoot, Justin Bieber, the Tragically Hip, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, the Arkells, Nelly Furtado, the Guess Who and the Black Eyed Peas, among others.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2023