Green Day honored the victims of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire during a concert at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Saturday.
“My heart just goes out to all the people who perished in that warehouse because these are just people looking for themselves,” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said onstage. “They’re just trying to have a moment where they can all just celebrate just being artists and being weird and having fun.”
On Dec. 2, one of the deadliest fires in the city’s history broke out at the warehouse, which had become an artist collective. At least 36 people died, according to city officials.
“We have to cherish all the freaks and the weirdos … people need a place,” Armstrong continued. “They didn’t go to art school. They got kicked out of their parents’ house, and they have nothing. But they find something in this sort of community, when they weren’t accepted before. So it’s really important that these people have an affordable place to live.”
The singer then dedicated the following performance of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” to those who lost their lives. Watch the moment from Saturday’s concert in the video, via The Mercury News.
When reports initially came out about the fire, Armstrong wrote on Instagram, “our thoughts, prayers and heartbreak go out to all the people suffering from this tragedy.. oakland is our home.”
“It’s been many years since i’ve lived in warehouses and communal spaces like Ghost ship,” he wrote in a follow-up post. “Those were some of the best and most fulfilling times in my life. living with other weirdos, artists, activists, and musicians.. spaces like this allow the strange ones to thrive and be the people that normal society rejects. we inspired each other, laughed together, and created new friends and family we didn’t know existed. The city of oakland provided that for me and my closest friends.”