A Green Day member sporting a "Free Pussy Riot" T-shirt was about as political as the 2012 MTV VMAs were able to get. The band unveiled yet another new song, "Let Yourself Go," and the song, again, saw the band moving away from the political and social overtunes of "American Idiot" and "21st Century Breakdown."
Green Day, in fact, has been doing everything in its power to state that it should not be considered an important band. As evidence, the band has its own "Angry Birds" characters.
It's all fun and games, sure, but after "American Idiot," Green Day positioned itself as a band that wasn't afraid to tackle big issues and a band that could address them with musical adventurousness.
PHOTOS: 2012 MTV Video Music Awards | Arrivals
The band is on the verge of releasing three albums, the first of which, "¡Uno!" arrives Sept. 25, and nowhere in the band's initial singles from the project is there any sense that the band views itself as anything other than pop star jokesters.
And yet with each passing album Keys moves away from her strength. The MTV VMAs performance came complete with an out-of-place Nicki Minaj rap, and Keys walked around the stage, but she wasn't leading the song anywhere, and anyone watching would be left to wonder why she would stroll away, yet again, from her comfort zone.
Former country star Taylor Swift, sporting a red-and-white striped shirt that may or may not be available at a major retailer, as well has red heels and short shorts, performed her crowd sing-along "We Are Never Getting Back Together," a song in which Swift sounded backed by any given high school glee club.