Watch a teenage Green Day perform outside their high school back in 1990

Green Day
(Image credit: YouTube)

No matter how big a band is today, they all started out playing unimpressive venues. Be that rocking out in front of just a handful of friends, or setting up in locations chosen out of necessity or novelty (such as the nu metal band that played a set in a Subway sandwich store), those early gigs in every band's career are all about hard graft, gaining confidence and pushing out your music wherever you can, to whoever you can.

Stadium-rocking punk trio Green Day, for example, were themselves at one point tiny fishes in a big pond, seeking out any opportunity that might offer them an audience.

In early 1990, a mere three years after their formation, Billie Joe Armstrong's teen punks performed outside their high school in Southern California, while groups of teens watched on seemingly un-phased.

The 52-minute performance took place at Pinole Valley High School, on May 10, a month after the release of their debut album 39/Smooth for independent punk rock label Lookout! Records

At this point, Green Day were comprised of frontman Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and original drummer Josh Kiffmeyer (long since replaced by Tré Cool), who unlike his fellow band mates, would opt to stay in education rather than heading out on the road. Armstrong had already pulled out of school months prior to the performance, while Dirnt made it to his graduation, but began life as a full-time musician a day afterwards when Green Day set out on their first tour. 

While the performance certainly doesn't capture Green Day on full form - after all, they're only a bunch of kids - it's amazing to see such a huge band at this raw stage. Just four years later, with the release of their major label debut Dookie, the East Bay punks would see their music reach far more people that those they went to school with.

Check out the video below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.