It’s been a fixture at recent [artist id="988"]Green Day[/artist] shows for the band to pick a hyperventilating fan out of the crowd and have them sing “Longview,” but rarely — if ever — do they perform the song as mightily as 17-year-old Dan Michie, who wowed fans with his rendition (and boundless enthusiasm) during the band’s Saturday night set at Lollapalooza .
In fact, Michie ruled the stage to such an extent that MTV News tracked him down and asked him all about his moment in the spotlight. And, not surprisingly, he doesn’t remember a whole lot of it.
“To be honest, the entire time, I wasn’t even thinking. It just happened,” he laughed. “When Billie [Joe Armstrong] picked me, everyone was screaming so loudly that I didn’t know what he was saying. I knew he was pointing to someone around me, and before I knew it, security was yanking me over the barrier. One guard carried me like a baby and pushed me towards the stage, and then, since it was the first time I’d used my legs in like eight hours, I almost tripped and fell on my face.”
Luckily, he didn’t. He slowly got to the stage and saw Armstrong (and tens of thousands of fans) staring directly at him. And then, things went completely blank.
“There are no words to describe it. If you’ve ever seen 80,000 people before, that’s one thing, but seeing them look back at you, that’s something that doesn’t even seem real,” Michie said. “And then, when I was walking towards [Armstrong] to give him a hug, I was just thinking, ‘Oh my God.’ You see him in pictures every day, but it’s a completely different thing to see him in real life.”
And then, after giving Armstrong a quick kiss — “It was kind of wet,” Michie joked — Green Day kicked into the song, and Michie just sort of took off. He rocketed back and forth across the stage, belting out the lyrics perfectly, while the crowd cheered and the band tried very hard not to crack up. And, as is par for the course, he doesn’t really remember much of this either.
“It just happened. I didn’t have to think of the words; they just came out,” he said. “And I had seen videos of other fans singing [the song], and they just stood there, so I knew I wanted to run around and go crazy. But I don’t really remember doing it.”
After his performance — and subsequent ovation — Armstrong gave Michie a guitar, which was certainly amazing but sort of presented him with a whole new challenge: How the heck was he going to get home? He had originally planned on taking the train, but Green Day’s tour manager wouldn’t allow it, so, for a moment, he appeared to be stuck in Grant Park. Thankfully, the band arranged for a driver to take Michie back to his house in the suburbs of Chicago, where he — and the guitar — now safely rest. And though he plays in a band (they’re called Patmos), he has no plans of ever using the guitar onstage.
“It’s going in a frame,” he said.
In the days since his performance, Michie has become a bit of a star. Footage from Lollapalooza has made the rounds on YouTube, and complete strangers are leaving him congratulatory messages on his Facebook page. For a kid who’s a Green Day obsessive, it’s pretty much the greatest thing that ever could’ve happened. And it’s made even sweeter by the fact that he had come so close to joining the band before, only to have his hopes dashed at the last second.
“When I saw Green Day at the United Center last summer, Billie was looking for people to pull up and play ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ on guitar,” he said. “I had a sign, and after he had pulled up a kid and kicked him off right away, he talked to me for a solid 13 seconds about playing the song. He then proceeded to pick a kid who was about three people away from me. I know what it’s like to be disappointed like that, but believe me, if you try really hard and be nice to people, your dreams will come true.”
What would you do if your favorite band pulled you up onstage? Let us know in the comments!