The Internet is a marvellous thing. Without it, we probably wouldn’t have found ourselves having access to old secret gigs by Nirvana, or a 1997 special on Silverchair thanks to the folks at Recovery. However, and old Green Day gig has recently found itself doing the rounds, containing footage of the band performing at their old high school weeks after the release of their debut album, and shortly before they became ’90s music legends.
As NME points out, this gig was originally uploaded to YouTube back in 2013, but has recently experienced a surge in popularity, with fans taking in the group’s youthful behaviour, as they play their songs, blissfully unaware of the success that will soon come their way.
Recorded at California’s Pinole Valley High School on May 10th, 1990, the footage shows frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt, along with drummer John Kiffmeyer, who would later be replaced by Tré Cool.
While then 18-year-olds Armstrong and Dirnt were both students of the school, Billie Joe Armstrong had dropped out of school earlier in the year on his 18th birthday in order to pursue a musical career.
The set featured the group performing the majority of their debut album, 39/Smooth, which had been released under a month earlier, the majority of their debut EP, 1,000 Hours, as well as tracks from their Slappy EP, their forthcoming album Kerplunk, and a couple of covers from artists such as Operation Ivy and Ozzy Osbourne.
Needless to say, it’s a rather intriguing document of musical history. While the quality is rather spotty at times, and the set itself appeared to have been racked with a few technical issues, it’s still a rather interesting opportunity to see one of punk’s biggest bands before they hit the big time as legends of ’90s music.
Check out Green Day’s 1990 high school performance:
Green Day @ Pinole Valley High School – 10/05/90 Setlist
‘Going To Pasalacqua’
‘At The Library’
‘409 In Your Coffeemaker’
‘The Judge’s Daughter’
‘Road To Acceptance’
‘Knowledge’ (Operation Ivy cover)
‘Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?’
‘Don’t Leave Me’
‘I Don’t Know’ (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
‘At The Library’
‘I Was There’