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Rock'n'Roll Fantasy

I'm going to Cleveland next weekend for Graham's sister's wedding, and it's killing me because Green Day will be in town then, and I'm not going to be able to see them. I missed them during the American Idiot tour, and they're high, high, high on my list of favorite bands.

After seeing this, it even kills me more.

When I was a kid, Bruce Springsteen used to go around and pull people on stage with him to dance, as immortalized with Courtney Cox in the "Dancing in the Dark" video. I only got as close as the mezzanine when I saw Bruce during the Tunnel of Love tour, so I just had to watch from afar as he pulled people on stage with him.

But this, this is so much fucking better.
At one point during Monday night’s Green Day show at Madison Square Garden, Billie Joe Armstrong announced that he needed someone on stage who could play the guitar. And not just for a “three-chord song,” he added, “for one with four, five, maybe six chords” — “Jesus of Suburbia.”

For those of you unfamiliar with Green Day, especially the American Idiot album, "Jesus of Suburbia" is a fucking 8 minute song that fundamentally changes at least five times throughout. It's not a song for pussies, and certainly not a song that many people could just pick up and play along to. And it's the marquee song of American Idiot, even though it wasn't released to radio. It's a song Green Day fans would have expected to hear, which means that the music dorks probably did know every chord, but also means that people were going to be paying a hell of a lot of attention to it.
After rejecting a few wannabes he stopped and asked a girl in the mosh pit if she knew how to play, then looked unconvinced when she said she did. “What key is it in?” he asked. Seemingly satisfied with her answer (it’s somewhat complicated, but for the sake of brevity, let’s say the correct response is C sharp major) he pulled her up onto the stage. The girl — her name later was revealed to be Stephanie — was wearing jeans shorts, a torn Misfits t-shirt, and a head scarf over her pigtails. Mr. Armstrong handed her the guitar, conferred with her briefly, then let her sit on an amp to get started. And then she…ripped! A few bars in she was wandering the stage like a pro and when Mr. Armstrong introduced her at the end, the crowd was shouting “Ste-pha-nie! Ste-pha-nie!” in appreciation.

Stephanie was last seen heading down Tower A after the show, a pair of Tre Cool’s drumsticks in one hand, her cell phone in the other, a chant of “Ste-pha-nie!” breaking out from those who spotted her in the crowd.
And she rocked. She was totally a fangurl, singing along to the lyrics as I would have been during a Green Day show, but she was on stage playing the guitar with the band in front of thousands of people. How fucking awesome is that??? She looked totally comfortable up there, and she was having a blast. And Billie Joe Armstrong was awesome with her, occasionally shoving the mic in her face so she could sing, giving her some stage direction, but otherwise just letting her play.

And how fucking cool is it that she was a girl? I mean, lord knows there were probably all sorts of music dork guys in the crowd that knew every chord of "Jesus of Suburbia" and could have pulled it of beautifully. Green Day has done this a lot in the past. But girls can rock too, dammit. Which is why I think the series of camps for girls to rock out, like this one in Austin are so cool.

Yay Stephanie! and Yay Green Day!!

totally made my day.

ETA: I found a Green Day fan site where the girl posts, and if her profile is right, she's 18 years old. Fuck.... That makes me even happier about the whole thing. Everyone on the Green Day fan site was really complimentary to her, so I imagine even the hard core fans were impressed.

ETA2: Another blurb on how awesome Stephanie was. Hmmm, maybe we can get out of the airport and drive straight to San Antonio on the 9th....


( 7 comments — Say something )
Jul. 30th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Apparently it's been a girl at quite a few of the shows. My friend who was at the Albany show said it was a girl there too. I don't know if he's consciously making sure to pick girls sometimes or not, but if he is, I'm all for it.

Aha! Here's video from the albany show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Akk4EqtSRIA

Edited at 2009-07-30 09:45 pm (UTC)
Jul. 30th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
The fans were really impressed that he bowed to her at the end of the song. He apparently doesn't do that. AND Tre came out from behind his drumset to give her a hug. She's terribly adorable on the greendaycommunity.org site.
Jul. 30th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
I saw them last night and they were so fucking awesome. They picked a dude for the song but he rocked it out too. The show lasted almost two and a half hours. You should totally try to go if you get a chance.
Jul. 30th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
We're seeing them on the 18th and I am so excited! From everything I've heard this is going to be a fantastic concert. If you and Graham can swing over to S.A. to see it, you should!
Jul. 31st, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)
Dammit! I just checked when they're in my town and it's the day after I leave on a business trip. Boo!

This just rocks so hard! I've loved them since I bought Dookie way back in college but I've never seen them live. Boo!
Jul. 31st, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
When they first started, they used to play a lot at this punk club that was down the street from my house in Berkeley, but they were beyond the small club scene by the time I moved there in 2000.

I've never seen them either.
Jul. 31st, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
Oh my god that's just so cool! The guitar's practically dragging on the floor! So cute. If someone put me in front of all those people, I'd probably just freak out and die right there! Gotta love Billie Joe. Tangentially, I was just talking yesterday with a friend about if we might use "Bullet in a Bible" for a media and communication class--now I really want to!
( 7 comments — Say something )