Green Day‘s actually sort of punk performance last night at the MTV Video Music Awards found the guys looking and sounding more like the pop punk band they were when they started out 20-years ago than the Broadway song producing one they are of late. A rock release in the middle of a pop-centric show, they debuted “Let Yourselves Go,” a new song from the soon to be released ¡Uno! that sounds a whole lot more punk than “Oh Love” and “Kill The DJ,” or really anything we’ve heard from them in a long while.
Mostly, “Let Yourselves Go” finds Billie Joe Armstrong revisiting the sass that was instinctual to a younger he. “Shut you’re mouth because you’re talking too much and I don’t give a d*** anyway,” he sings in the first verse. Next time around, “I don’t give a d*** anyway” gives way to “I don’t give a f***k anyway,” and by the time the refrain — “Let yourself go,” sung all-together-now — we had totally forgotten that One Direction were the night’s big winners, and that the award for Best Rock Video wasn’t even handed out during the show. And performing from the floor of the Staples Center, eventually inviting the crowd in for some carefully monitored moshing, and with their alternate guitarist rocking a “FREE PUSSY RIOT” shirt, they almost looked, too, like the band they were 20-years ago.