Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic remarked that Awesome as Fuck "satisfies without surprising [...] The set list is a good mix that leans heavily on Green Day’s new millennium standards and the bandmembers never sound tired playing: they hit their marks with enthusiasm, which is enough to make Awesome as F**k fun, if not quite a live album for the ages." David Fricke of Rolling Stone commented "This set is a contagious account of the power-fun streak that still runs through the band even after the two punk operas [...] Billie Joe Armstrong thoroughly enjoys his spotlight: shouting, cursing and letting audiences take whole verses of 'American Idiot' and 'Good Riddance.' And drummer Tré Cool is way up in the mix, channeling the Clash's Topper Headon and the Who's Keith Moon with precise demonic glee."
Chris Conaton of PopMatters said that the album "has a bit of the odor of a record-company stopgap about it", noting the five-year gap between the band's last two studio albums, American Idiot (2004) and 21st Century Breakdown (2009), that was filled by the live album and DVD Bullet in a Bible (2005). He noted that the band was "at least trying to do something different" with this second live album: Bullet in a Bible's album and video documented a single two-night stand in England, while Awesome as Fuck's album draws from sixteen different concerts around the world and the video is taken from a single show. He also remarked that the album's tracklist contains "treats for longtime fans" in the form of "some of the band's lesser singles and even some deep album tracks"—including the previously unreleased "Cigarettes and Valentines" and the older tracks "Burnout", "Going to Pasalacqua", "J.A.R.", and "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?"—saying "It’s this quintet of songs that really sets Awesome as F**k apart and gives it a kick as a live set." He criticized the fact that hearing the songs played live was not that different from hearing the studio recordings, calling them "generally the same beyond Armstrong telling the crowd to sing this part or that" and remarking that Green Day's arena show is "a wonderful experience in person, but it understandably loses something in the translation to CD and DVD."