October 3, 2000. Green Day releases, in hindsight, one of the best works in their catalogue…and it’s considered the low point in their career.
At the time, Green Day took a beating for Warning. The album leaked three weeks early on Napster (remember Napster?), and fans weren’t exactly pleased with the band’s embracing of acoustic elements and more mature themes. Whether it was the lukewarm reception by fans or the fact that so many people downloaded the album for free, Warning was the first of Green Day’s major releases to not go platinum.
But here’s the thing: it’s a great album. Sure, it doesn’t sound like Dookie. But Dookie was 6 years earlier and Green Day was and continues to be a band that lives out loud and moves quickly. I think a lot of punk bands get punished by their fans more than other rock bands when they take risks. Which is ironic, because isn’t punk supposed to be just that: a push against what’s established and accepted?
The Warning-era also produced some of Green Day’s finest live performances. Check out this Intimate and Interactive gig they played for MuchMusic in Toronto back in November of 2000. And don’t write off Warning: it’s a Green Day essential.