The XX Factor

Guitar Heroine

Rock dreams really do come true. Green Day played a show at Madison Square Garden on Monday. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong went looking for an audience member to join the band on guitar-and settled on a girl named Stephanie. Who shredded it.

The New York Times Arts Beat blog reports :

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.

Sorry, Courtney Cox-in-“Dancing in the Dark” -as concert fantasies go, this one is way better. Arts Beat has some video clips, and they’re awesome. (See clip below for a taste.) Stephanie’s like a rock-’n-roll Susan Boyle-a normal, unassuming woman who blasts through her humble-seeming exterior to reveal unexpected musical superpowers. She’s an inspiration. Here’s hoping we see more of her-she writes in the Arts Beat comment thread (in response to another commenter’s question):

At the moment, I’m not in a band but I am looking to start one up sometime in the near future. One that will definitely have some punk roots :)

Photograph of Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images.