At the Green Day concert at Rock in Rio, the singer, Billie Joe, showed a Brazilian flag with the message: “No to racism, no to fascism, no to sexism”. It was in the hands of a fan, who wrote the protest based on the band’s history of political activism.
Bárbara Mattos, a 23-year-old student and English teacher, had taken the stage at the beginning of the show and says that later Billie saw her waving the flag on the railing. He asked her for the flag. Later, the vocalist also waved an LGBT pride flag that he picked up from other fans.
“I wrote on the flag because Green Day has this very strong political imprint throughout the discography.. There are several songs with political criticism. Throughout the history of Green Day they have always reinforced the issue of equality and been against racist, homophobic and sexist habits”, explains Bárbara.
“I remember that in Brazil in 2017 they came with the Revolution Radio Tour and they had a flag with something similar: “no fascism, no KKK”. That was kind of their slogan at the time. Billie sang “no Trump, no KKK, not fascist USA (not Trump, not KKK, not fascist USA).”
“And then I took advantage of the fact that I already had the Brazilian flag and wrote here at home:”
- “‘No racism’ (without racism), because we are here in Brazil, where racism is very present.”
- “‘No fascism’ (without fascism), because, anyway, right… in the political scenario I see the return of some fascist and neo-fascist behaviors in Brazil, and this is extremely weird, ugly, horrible.”
- “It’s ‘no sexism’ (without sexism), because I’m a woman and we see a lot of discrimination”, Bárbara concludes.
” So it was a way of using the Brazilian flag to say: ‘Not here. Here there won’t be racism, there won’t be sexism, there won’t be fascism.’ And it was really cool, because we started waving the flag, Billie asked for it, we delivered it, he held it out, put the flag on and then gave it back to us. It was an amazing experience. I’ll keep it for the rest of my life.”
Bárbara Mattos waiting for the Green Day show. It was also hers the flag in which Billie Joe wrapped himself during the show — Photo: Personal Archive
She also took the stage
Bárbara arrived at 6am in the City of Rock and didn’t pee all day. The goal was to stay on the grid of the Green Day show and watch the idols up close. But the effort paid off much more: she was called to the stage and even sang a snippet of “Know your enemy”.
“I’m still in shock, it seems it didn’t happen”, said Bárbara in an interview with g1, this Saturday (10).
“When I was walking up the stairs, my heart was racing, I was fulfilling my biggest dream. When I hugged Billie I said: ‘You saved my life’ [‘Vocês salvaram minha vida’]. From there, I started to sing hysterically, I didn’t know whether to jump, cry or what. I did what my body wanted to do at that moment,” she said.
Green Day fan takes the stage and gets emotional with the singer
She even explained why she told Billie that the band saved her life.
Bárbara Mattos before going on stage at the Green Day show at Rock in Rio — Photo: Personal Archive
“I have some childhood traumas and I never knew how to deal with these things well, but when I met the band I saw a reason to believe”, he said.
“When I found myself in depression a few years ago, it was their music that motivated me. In 2017 I went to their concert and for me it was a watershed, I started to see life in another way, for the better.”
“From that, there is all the inspiration of life that is directly linked to my connection with music and literature, which was one of the reasons why I started doing Letters at UFRJ.”
‘I barely understand what I say, but I know the lyrics’
Currently, Barbara, in addition to being a student, is an English teacher. Therefore, she was amused by the comments about her pronunciation in the language while singing with the band on stage. “I’m fine with it,” she said.
“Honestly, at the time I got desperate. I wanted to scream, run away, hug the other members, run and sing all at the same time. I think I just got desperate and ended up not singing right.”
“Look, in the video, I barely understand what I say. But I know the lyrics, so it’s all right”, he says, laughing.
Bárbara Mattos shows the pick she won from the production of Green Day — Photo: Personal Archive