A password will be e-mailed to you.

Best-selling band born of a crappy major label debut… Not bad-crappy, literally an album named Dookie, crappy. Green Day may have been the best rock band of the 2000s.

At least, they were for those of us blessed to be teens at the time. Those of us once willing to spend 4 hours straight mastering moves in Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land instead of actually skating. Those of us savvy enough to acquire bootleg copies of ‘Parental Advisory’ level Green Day albums because “hey, we’re old enough and it’s on the radio!”

They touched that special place

Green Day filled that special chasm in the heart where all a young something-teen’s angst tends to accumulate. They filled it with extra angst, which may seem counterintuitive, but proved cathartic.

Kidz Bop, that old cleaned-up-pop-songs-for-kids collection, included “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”…

Gorillaz were too otherworldly, Linkin Park too upset… Green Day were down to Earth.

Billy Joe Armstrong was singing to teens almost exclusively, whether he liked it or not. American Idiot, in particular, with its rebellious title and assortment of hit tracks made it so.

Of course, I was only 9 in 2004, so he was basically singing to children too. Kidz Bop, that old cleaned-up-pop-songs-for-kids collection, included “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” so clearly that’s not too far-off a conclusion to reach for. That’s not quite the track that made Green Day the era’s best in my book though… Try “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

Gorillaz were too otherworldly, Linkin Park too upset… Green Day were down to Earth.

“Wake Me Up When September Ends” translated to every teen’s personal troubles at the time. Hell, it translated to the entire U.S.’s troubles – Katrina, 9-11, War in Iraq… The lot of them.

Thankfully, I wasn’t personally affected by such disastrous events. Those who were, though, surely got a double dose of depth from everything Green Day spit out in the 2000s. Special places were touched – in a non-terrible kind of way.

They made us better people

The band’s mid-90s hits resurfaced in the light of popularity, but those weren’t quite ours. You couldn’t help but love the snickering self-hatred of “Brain Stew” or “When I Come Around,” but they were before our time. Their 2000s albums were the ones that changed our lives (in a high-strung teen sort of way).

We were puppets on strings – dancing out our hormonal delirium. We were simply better people.

Warning made us low-key freedom fighters (against school and parents, mostly). American Idiot made us cynics. 21st Century Breakdown made us emos (that was an odd period). We were puppets on strings – dancing out our hormonal delirium. We were simply better people.

Ok, fine. We weren’t.

Fast-paced, heavy, deceptively simple tunes encased in surprisingly brilliant lyrics made Green Day one of the first bands a lot of us 2000s teens distinctly remember loving. And yes, I loved Coldplay too, but let’s get real here…

Get more awesome content
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting content in your inbox every week.

Get more awesome content
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting content in your inbox every week.