BY: JOEY REAMS
Since the pandemic started, concerts have not been the same. Despite your policy on the issue, organizers have taken steps to ensure concerts goers are safe. Sometimes that means limiting the capacity of the venue or requiring proof of vaccination, or showing a negative covid test. Once inside, you see security wearing masks and hand sanitizing stations all around. When going into a rock concert, the last thing you’re thinking of is getting through security onto the stage without any invitation. Most bands are taking serious COVID-19 precautions and won’t even let fans near them. Thankfully, not all rock bands are like that, keeping the spirit of rock alive.
Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl has always gone out of his way to make fans feel extra special. Pre-pandemic, he was never afraid to get close with his fans and take pictures with them. When he broke his leg, he still didn’t stop playing for the fans. Instead, he sat on a throne and played guitar from there. One time he stopped a Foo Fighters concert mid-song to kick an aggressive fan out of the show. With everyone looking at him, Grohl tells the man, “people don’t come to my shows to fight. They came to my shows to f****** dance.”
Recently, rock morale has been low, and Foo Fighters try to keep rock concerts fun. At a Bonner Springs, Kansas concert last month, Grohl made a fan’s dream come true by inviting them on stage to play “Monkey Wrench.” This was the first time the band has had a fan on stage playing with them in two years. Still, Grohl jokingly stopped Lauren in her tracks, saying, “six feet!”
“You ever play a show this big? It’s fucking cool,” Grohl said. “You’re not nervous, are you?” Lauren shook her head in reply and nailed her part. You can see the performance below.
After seeing Foo Fighters make a fan’s dream come true, Green Day decided to follow in on the action. Green Day is currently on the Hella Mega Tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy. Fall Out Boy was forced to miss a few shows earlier this year after having some crew members test positive for COVID-19. This didn’t stop Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong from having some fun.
The band has often brought fans on stage in the past, but not much last year. During the Hella Mega Tour, they’ve gone back to their old ways and started bringing them back on stage, often wearing masks. Still, having the opportunity to play with one of your favorite bands is incredible. That’s what happened last month when an 11-year-old boy named Meyer was asked to help the band perform a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge” during Green Day’s Hershey Park Stadium concert.
“This is it. I need somebody that knows how to play three chords,” Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told the crowd. “You got to know this one, this one, and that one. So who knows how to play? I’m going to bring you up! This song is by a band called Operation Ivy.”
Armstrong chooses Meyer and gets him prepared to play in front of thousands of people. The lead singer asks the young fan how long he has been playing guitar, which he retells him six years. “You got the gig, kid, get your ass up here!” Armstong says to the kid.
Not only does Meyer play his part like a pro, but the crowd also went wild for him. To make things even better, Armstrong told the kid he could keep the guitar as a souvenir. An amazing ending for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The cherry on top is that Meyer’s parents got to see the whole thing in person.
“He’s been practicing and jamming Green Day throughout the pandemic,” said his father, captured by a YouTube clip. Hours each day. They are his favorite, but he loves to play Nirvana, Pumpkins, Foo, Blink, and Rage Against The Machine. Proof positive that hard work and dedication to your passion can make dreams come true with a little luck sprinkled in. SO F—ING PROUD. Much gratitude to Billie Joe, Mike, and Trey for being such gracious rock stars. Best show ever! Thank you, Hershey, PA!”
This is nothing new for Green Day, and the band has actually made this a normal activity during its recent tour. Fans have reported Green Day doing the same thing at their San Diego concerts at Petco Park on Aug. 29. Despite having to follow certain precautions, both Foo Fighters and Green Day are trying their best to keep the spirit of rock alive by bringing fans on stage and making their dreams come true during a pandemic. Check out Green Day’s performance of “Knowledge” with Meyer below.