Fans who came to see the Replacements second set at Coachella this past Friday (April 18) got a surprise. Green Day mainman Billie Joe Armstrong joined the group on stage as a backup guitarist to Replacements singer Paul Westerberg. The singer was having back problems and was forced to play guitar while lying down (!), so Armstrong helped fill out the band’s sound and make things easier on Westerberg.
Armstrong was decked out in a khaki outfit and a bow-tie like the rest of the band, and with his beard he looked quite different from the scrawny punk rocker in black skinny jeans that we’re used to seeing. Billie Joe, who is a longtime fan of the band exclaimed “Dreams really do come true,” according to Rolling Stone.
The two Coachella gigs were the Replacements’ first shows in California in 23 years. Bassist Tommy Stinson had to take a leave of absence from his other band Guns N’ Roses, who were on tour in South America at the same time.