If there’s one thing punks love, it’s adhering to a strict-yet-meaningless set of rules. It’s this truth that led to Green Day being banned from the club that gave the band its start, Berkeley’s now-legendary 924 Gilman Street. The ban came down in 1994, when the band opted to release its third album, Dookie, on a major label, removing all of its cred in the process.
Last night the ban was officially lifted, and Green Day returned to Gilman for the first time since it showed up in 2001 and, proving how arbitrary this whole thing was, just played anyway. Though the banishment didn’t extend to the individual members of Green Day—Billie Joe Armstrong’s Pinhead Gunpowder made a rare appearance there as recently as 2010—this was the first time the band was welcomed back to the club without anyone having to feel weird about writing death threats about Armstrong on its walls back in 1994.
This is the second time Green Day has given a loving nod to its origins in recent months—before its induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame it got its original lineup back together and performed under its former name, Sweet Children, at a show in Cleveland. The Gilman show was a benefit for AK Press—a long-standing independent publisher that recently lost its warehouse in a fire—showing that even though Green Day may have ostracized from the scene that bred it, it still cares about the people in that scene. It’s true what they say: Every time a holier-than-thou punk kid sings along to “Basket Case,” a rock band gets its cred back.