Watch Green Day, Blink-182, skater legend Tony Hawk, Avril Lavigne and a host of MySpace Top 8 pop-punks go hard at When We Were Young fest in Las Vegas

When We Were Young 2023
(Image credit: Instagram)

Green Day and Blink-182 brought the opening day of pop-punk festival When We Were Young to a close with stacked greatest hits sets, to the delight of attendees at the 85,000 capacity Las Vegas Festival Grounds last night (October 21).

Billie Joe Armstrong's band, who last week announced their return with a new single, The American Dream Is Killing Me (set for release on October 24), warmed up for their co-headlining appearance on the site's Green Stage with a super-intimate set at the city's 1,000-capacity Fremont Country Club on October 19, at which they played their classic 1994 album Dookie in full. Their WWWY headline set, however, was weighed in favour of 2004's American Idiot collection, with the album's five singles - Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Wake Me Up When September Ends, Holiday, Jesus Of Suburbia and the title track - among seven selections from the 16-million-selling album on a hits-heavy 21-song setlist. The trio also performed their new single, Dookie-era standards Basket Case, Longview and When I Come Around, and a teasing snippet of Black Sabbath's Iron Man during Hitchin' A Ride

The festival's Pink Stage was headlined by reunited San Diego pop-punk trio Blink-182, fresh from completing their European arena tour. The band, who released their ninth studio album - and first since the return of guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge - One More Time... on October 20, played a 23-song set featuring four songs from their brand new album: their 2022 comeback single Edging, More Than You Know, Dance With Me and the album's title track.

This particular Mark, Tom and Travis show was weighted towards 2001's Take Off Your Pants and Jacket album, with singles The Rock Show, First Date and Stay Together For The Kids among six tracks aired, with a host of their classic pop-punk singles - What's My Age Again?, All The Small Things, Dammit, I Miss You, Feeling This - and Bored To Death from 2016's Matt Skiba-fronted California album also in the mix.

(Blink-182 recently announced rescheduled dates in Belfast and Glasgow for late August next year, leading to speculation that they will be one of the headline acts at next summer's Reading and Leeds festivals).

Day one of When We Were Young also brought some surprises, with pop-punk queen Avril Lavigne appearing as an unannounced guest with All Time Low, to perform Sk8ter Boi and Fake As Hell, and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk joining Goldfinger to perform Superman.

The festival also saw performances from The Offspring, Sum 41, Rise Against, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, New Found Glory, Yellowcard and more. 

Day two of the festival takes place today, October 22.

See more
Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.