It is one thing to have a moment. It is quite another to go full 8-mile on an opportunity like the individuals below did. Being onstage with one’s rock hero is insane but having the ability to not only play with, and also impress them is an incredible feat. They may never become as big as the artists they shared the stage with, but for a brief minute in time they etched themselves into legendary musician status. This is a tribute to those few who truly owned it.
Green Day—When I Come Around—Chicago, IL 10/23/2016
Watch this punk version of Clark Kent as he removes his spectacles and promptly rocks Chicago the way he must have pictured it at home practicing in the mirror millions of times. The only thing that matches his performance is the look Billie Joe gives when he jumps on the amp and rips the opening chords perfectly. An incredible display of impromptu adrenaline combined with skill, timing, and extra points for the hang-time on the stage-dive at the end.
John Mayer—Belief—Philadelphia, PA 02/21/2010
After spotting a sign requesting to play Belief by 11-year-old Austin, an intrigued John Mayer was as blown away as everyone else was that night in Philly. A seriously amazing display of poise and balls by undoubtedly the coolest 6th grader I’ve ever seen.
Linkin Park—Faint—Camden, NJ 08/03/2004
Linkin Park has always been a fan of having live tryouts onstage in hopes of seeing someone stand out instantly but are also unafraid of taking out the trash if it encroaches their domain. Enter “Billy” and his assurance to the band he did know the song backwards. The wide smile on Brad Delson’s face after hearing the opening riff of someone who actually knew his shit, was validated to the fullest with how the rest of this night went.
The Goo Goo Dolls—Name—O2 Brixton Academy London 07/26/2018
It takes a lot to impress a cocky, great song writer like John Rzeznik and even more so to create a loss of words. After interrogating Jake about his knowledge of the tuning, this guy promptly ripped off the opening flawlessly enough to make John finally shut up and sing.
Limp Bizkit—My Way—Leipzig, DE, Haus Auensee 01/06/2015
Never judge a book by its cover. This kids confidence literally grew by the second as did the reaction of the crowd, and then reached the stratosphere of guitar heroes as the band reciprocated the insane energy of this goofy looking fuck. He did however, absolutely own Europe for an evening with this incredible performance.
Coldplay—O—Santa Clara, CA 10/04/2017
Following the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, a young fan requested to play O for all those lost souls. Chris Martin was per usual, more than cool about sharing the stage and his faith was rewarded in witnessing this kid play his song perfectly along with the other 40,000 people in attendance. “Holy shit my brother” is the correct phrase indeed.
Foo Fighters—Monkey Wrench—Austin, TX 04/18/2018
Anyone who brings a sign, his own pick and dresses like Gene Simmons is not to be trifled with. Yayo Sanchez literally left Dave speechless with his unreal dexterity and obvious knowledge of the song down to the solo that Grohl has been tweaking live for years as Monkey Wrench evolved. His mimicking of the Foo’s lead singer was complete in every nuance from the head banging down to the way he held his guitar. His visible shock was captured perfectly as this anomaly of talent rocked the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
Sting—I’m So Happy That I Can’t Stop Crying—Vancouver, BC 08/11/1996
Only the vocal performance rivaled the witty banter between Ross Viner and Sting. After some well-crafted answers to awkward questions from The Police frontman, he truly backed up his shit-talking and delivered in this amazing duet. Acknowledged by the screaming of thousands and even from the eminently stoic Sting as “Not bad. Very good.”
Green Day (again)—Longview/J.A.R.—Oakland, CA 12/10/2016
Not to be redundant, but this was the only fan onstage I’ve ever seen get an encore and he deserved every second of it. This pubescent flaming red haired, five foot nothing of a dude demanded the guitar, produced his own pick, and literally turned up the volume. All those hours of practice were manifested into perfection as he shreds flawlessly through two songs earning not only respect for life from Billie Joe, “You fucking rule kid.”, but also his guitar.