Although Lancaster County residents should always be on high alert for Rock Lititz-related celebrity sightings, it's true that you never know when they might occur.
Last night, the members of Grammy award-winning rock band Green Day were in town to take in food and bowling at Decades Lancaster, followed by karaoke at the Belvedere Inn. Also present was Butch Walker, producer of Green Day's recently released album, "Father of All..."
According to Decades Marketing Manager Jonathan Yeager, Decades had arranged an "Employee Birthday Party," which then ended up being an ad hoc birthday party for Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who turned 48 on Monday.
As per its usual policy, a representative of Rock Lititz neither confirmed nor denied the band's presence when asked via phone.
The band is no doubt preparing for the upcoming Hella Mega Tour, featuring contemporaries Weezer and Fall Out Boy, who also have recent albums produced by Walker. The tour hits Hersheypark Stadium on Sunday, August 16.
After leaving Decades, the band and its crew made their way up the street to the Belvedere Inn for karaoke. One of the attendees to karaoke night, Liz Frandsen, describes showing up with a group of friends shortly before the members of Green Day and their crew arrived.
“It’s cool, because I grew up with Green Day, so I was starstruck," describes Frandsen. "You listen to these guys all the time, and then here they are in Lancaster.”
Frandsen said that the band sang for the roughly 30 in attendance and then hung around to watch the regulars. She says that she is now much more inclined to see the band's Hershey show this summer.
“I was just very amazed by how down to earth and nice they were," says Frandsen. "You think that celebrities might be off putting in some way, but it was cool to hang out with a band and their crew and have a nice, chill night.”
Sid Barnete, host of Thirsty for Knowledge Trivia and the Belvedere karaoke night, posted on Facebook that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sang David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust," while drummer Tre Cool sang the unlikely pairing of Hall & Oates' "Sara Smile" and "Summer Wind," popularized by Frank Sinatra.
“I’ll be honest, I was standing in the corner and this whole crew of people walked in," says Barnete. “I asked one guy what was going on, and he said, ‘It’s a party.’ Then I asked where they came from, and he said, ‘It’s a party.’”
Serendipitously, one of Barnete's regulars had belted the Green Day classic "Basket Case" just a half hour before the band arrived.
“Near the end of the night, that guy came up again and said, ‘Hey, who do you want to meet next week, I’ll sing their song for you next,'" Barnete said.
Check out video highlights from karaoke below, courtesy of Liz Frandsen.