Last summer, Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy finally launched their Hella Mega stadium tour. Not only did it bring the three bands to the biggest venues of their careers, it marked their first concerts back after the live music industry had shut down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now that the Hella Mega tour is gearing up to head to Europe next month, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong is reflecting on the “unbelievable experience” of those first shows.

“The crowd looked like this giant flock of birds freaking out,” Armstrong tells Kerrang! “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,” he continues. “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.”

As successful as the tour would be, Armstrong remembers how anxious he felt before it all started.

“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,” Armstrong shares. “Everyone — the crew, every single person — was completely overwhelmed because no one knew how this was going to go down.”

He adds, “I was freaking out. Everyone was. We didn’t know what to think … the whole country had been through the f***ing wringer.”

The European Hella Mega tour launches June 19 in Austria.

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