Before crowds in 1999 possibly ruined Woodstock’s reputation forever, and after the greatest festival ever assembled in 1969, there was Woodstock ’94. It seems to get somewhat lost in the shuffle when you think about Woodstock’s ambivalent legacy. The thing Woodstock ’94 is best known for is the treacherous rains, which muddied hills and covered concertgoers for days, much like in ’69.
What had not been done before at a Woodstock, however, was Green Day. The band’s breakthrough album, Dookie, swept the nation – with “Basket Case” strangling rock radio everywhere – and the public became more and more aware that this band could not be tamed. What happened next was music history and further catapulted Green Day into superstardom.
On the final day of the festival, during the performance of “When I Come Around”, arguably one of the best songs of the ’90s, the crowd grew restless with the conditions and began tossing mud up on the stage. Mudstock ’94 was born. In this clip, you can see the stage begin to be painted in mud, and Billie Joe Armstrong even catches a little bit and puts it in his mouth proclaiming, “This just goes to show, if you eat shit, you won’t die.”
The hills were full of angst-ridden teenagers slipping, sliding, and diving down them in what looks disgusting and seriously awesome at the same time. Around the 2:10 mark, check out the attempted use of a shopping cart gone wrong.
Green Day are obviously still relevant today and are much more political, but do not forget that they were once punk pioneers, and this set at Woodstock ’94 was the first time that millions watching on Pay-Per-View got to see what they could do.