Bay Area punk rockers Green Day performed in Oakland on Saturday (December 10), and they shared a special tribute to the victims of the warehouse fire that recently claimed dozens of lives at a DIY music event.
Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong dedicated "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" to the victims of the fire, which broke out at a DIY venue and artists' living space called Ghost Ship on December 2.
"When I think of what happened last week at Ghost Ship, it's shocking. This is our home, you know? This is our people," he said. "My heart just goes out to all the people that perished in that warehouse. These are people just looking for themselves, just trying to have a moment where they could all celebrate being artists and being weird and having fun."
Armstrong emphasized the importance of affordable alternative spaces for people shut out of traditional social structures and institutions. "We gotta make sure of one thing: With Oakland, we have to cherish all the freaks and the weirdos," he said. "People need a place. They didn't go to art school. They got kicked out of their parents' house and they have nothing, but they find something in a community where they weren't accepted before. It's really important that these people have an affordable place to live. This is for them."
Thirty-six people died in the fire, including local musicians like Cherushii and Cash Askew.