Green Day was originally part of the punk scene at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. The band's early releases for independent record labelLookout! Records earned it a grassroots fanbase. Nevertheless, its major label debut Dookie (1994) became a breakout success and eventually sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. and 15 million worldwide. As a result, Green Day was widely credited, alongside fellow California punk bands The Offspring and Rancid, with reviving mainstream interest in and popularizing punk rock in the United States. Green Day's three follow-up albums, Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning did not achieve the massive success of Dookie, but they were still successful, reaching double platinum, double platinum, and gold status respectively. Green Day's 2004 rock operaAmerican Idiot reignited the band's popularity with a younger generation, selling five million copies in the U.S. The band's eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown, was released in 2009.
The story, expanded from that of the concept album, centers on Johnny, a disaffected youth who flees stifling suburbia and his parents' restrictions to look for meaning in his life, and to try out the freedom and excitement of the city. One of his friends stays home to work out his relationship with his pregnant girlfriend. Another friend serves in Iraq. Johnny finds a part of himself that he grows to dislike, has a relationship and experiences lost love.
After a run at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2009, the show moved to Broadway, beginning previews at the St. James Theatre on March 24, 2010 and officially opened on April 20, 2010. Green Day does not appear in the production, but the show has an onstage band.