Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 | 2:02 p.m.
By John Katsilometes
Billie Joe Armstrong didn’t seem right Friday night, and there is now an explanation as to why: Two days after blowing up the opening night of the iHeart Radio Music Festival, the frontman for Green Day is headed to rehab for substance abuse.
The 40-year-old vocalist/guitarist erupted in a verbal and physical torrent at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday night, profanely shouting at the crowd for perceived lethargy and bellowing about the band’s set being cut short.
Armstrong shouted about Green Day not being afforded proper respect (the band hit it big in 1988), cursed about Justin Bieber and ended the rant by smashing his guitar and tossing the microphone over his shoulder before lurching off stage. He also pulled at a camera boom and nearly exposed himself midway through the set.
In a statement issued today to the Associated Press, the band apologized for the incident and said their set, which preceded the closing performance by Rihanna and followed Usher’s appearance, was not cut short by Clear Channel officials. Initially, it appeared Green Day was allotted less time than originally scheduled, but that was not the case.
The band is scheduled to perform Feb. 8 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Grammy Award-winning band is canceling some of its promotional appearances in support of its new album, “Uno,” which will be released Tuesday.