Rock band Green Day — lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool — opens its world "21st Century Breakdown" tour at Seattle's KeyArena on July 3.

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Nothing like a little Green Day to fire up your Independence Day.

The popular punk band kicks off its 2009 world tour at KeyArena tonight, the start of the three-day holiday weekend.

In an recent interview with Rolling Stone, Green Day lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong said he is hoping to give Bruce Springsteen “a run for his money.” Springsteen may give five-hour concerts, but the Green Day stage show could be a six-hour marathon. The charismatic trio — Armstrong plus bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool — has been known to open for themselves as well as give multiple-hour encores, complete with requests from the audience.

The Berkeley band also plans to play its latest album, “21st Century Breakdown,” in its entirety. At 19 songs, the album stretches over an hour.

It is their ninth gold album, after “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours” (1991), “Kerplunk” (1992), “Dookie” (1994), “Insomniac” (1995), “Nimrod” (1997), “Warning” (2000), “International Superhits!” (2001) and “American Idiot” (2004).

Like their previous material, “21st Century Breakdown” deals with the themes of religion, government and war. And like “American Idiot,” “21st Century Breakdown” is an epic rock opera, following characters on a journey.

It’s “sort of about growing up in a working-class family, and what that represents in a financial crisis and how everyone feels paralyzed and frightened right now,” Armstrong said to Billboard, commenting on the album’s lead song.

In total, Green Day has sold more than 65 million records worldwide — 22 million records in the U.S. They have won three Grammy Awards — Best Alternative Music Performance for “Dookie,” Best Rock Album for “American Idiot,” and Record of the Year for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”

With influences ranging from the Ramones to the Who, Green Day has seen nearly two decades of success, keyed on their frankness and playfulness — not to mention the band’s musicality. In short, Green Day has kept punk going.

Marian Liu: 206-464-3825 or