This is the third in a new series where we tell the stories of Upstate musicians in their own words. We are asking them to submit the experiences on stage that shaped them as artists, be it their first time performing live, their first big gig, or even just a light bulb moment they had during a performance. Thanks to Dr. Luv Beatz for the following story.
So to fully explain why this show changed everything for me I have to go way back in my music history. It actually took a series of shows to get to “The Show That Changed Everything”’ for me.
I started playing snare drum in middle school, then started playing a full drum kit soon after that. A few of my best friends (Brian & Joey) started playing guitar at the same time I started drums, so naturally we started playing music together and when we graduated middle school we somehow convinced our teachers to let us play one song at our middle school graduation.
Brian, Joey, and myself (Young Beatz… jk) were big fans of MXPX, Reliant K and, most of all, Green Day. Brian’s older brother had a Green Day CD that we always asked him to put on when he picked us up from school or basketball practice. So, when we got to pick a song to perform for our middle school graduation, we wanted to do Green Day’s “When I Come Around”. The only problem was the lyrics in the song were not exactly considered “appropriate” for a middle school graduation, so we re-wrote the lyrics to “Leaving School Grounds” and told our story of “no more homework and detention here no more”… or something like that. I was and still am a huge fan of Weird Al so I didn’t think it was too “weird” to re-write lyrics to a song. That graduation performance was our first rock band performance and I did a drum solo and everything.
That was that first show that set up the show that changed everything.
Fast forward to 04/20/05 Junior year of high school. Like many musicians I struggled with academics and apparently (at the time) to graduate in SC you had to pass an “Exit Exam” that you take sophomore year. So, I was getting tutoring to pass this thing on my third attempt. The exam was to take place on 9am 04/21/05. I didn’t have a cell phone at the time and when I got home from tutoring on 04/20/05, just before 4:30 pm, there was a note on the kitchen counter with a $20 that said “’your buddy Steven called and said he has a extra ticket to Green Day tonight in Charlotte. He will pick you up at 5”. So with no hesitation I got in the truck and saw My Chemical Romance open for Green Day and they rocked it! Our seats were in the back lower bowl so, not on the floor, but still great seats. If you’ve ever seen Green Day you know at every show they pull up a drummer, bass player, and guitarist for a short jam on stage. So, when they did that 04/20/05 I was hooting and hollering for Billie Joe to pick me to play drums but we were too far back to get picked. We were both said “man, we should have gotten floor tickets and gotten up there!”
That was the second show to set up the show that changed everything.
About a month later Steven, who took me to Green Day in Charlotte, called me and said that they were coming to Atlanta, GA in August and if I seriously wanted to get floor tickets, he would get them so I could try to get picked to play drums with Green Day. The tickets cost a little more but it was totally worth a shot at playing with Green Day. We had seen the show so we remembered when they did it in their set so we were prepared. Plus, Jimmy Eat World was opening and that was the first time I got to see them and I’ve seen them about 10 times since, but I digress.
08/23/05, Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA – we arrive at the show early to get a spot near the runway part of the stage on the middle of the floor. I was wearing a red shirt and just about everyone else in the arena was wearing a black shirt, so it helped me stand out a little. It finally got to the part of the show where Billie Joe Armstrong says “Alright, I need a drummer! Who plays drums?!?!?!? Steven was there with me and we started screaming “ME!!!” All these people around me were, like, “For real?”’ I was, like, “Yea! I really play! Will y’all help lift me up?!”’ Sure enough, all these people around me lifted me up so I’m above the crowd right when Billie Joe is right there and I’m yelling “ME!!!” He said “You better not be f*****g joking, GET UP HERE!!!!”
I got on stage, passed Mike Dirnt on the bass, and walked up to Tre Cool who was still drumming when I walked up to the kit. He said “Wassup, just take it easy. Simple beat.” He slowly got me on the kit as I slid in and started playing to keep the jam going seamless. As soon as I do the arena ROARS!!!! That’s when I thought to myself, “I can do this.”’ Just about that time Tre Cool said “smile!” and snapped a photo of me playing. They brought up a bass player and guitarist out of the crowd and we all jammed together for a bit, and by the end of it I’m not keeping it simple, I’m rocking it loud!!! Probably more than I should of, cuz theres no monitor back there so you’re playing loud drums with no reference of how the guitar or bass sound, but I couldn’t of cared less what they sounded like… I was playing drums in Green Day!!! As soon as the song was over Tre let me keep the sticks, gave me the photo of me playing, then showed me to security who said I couldn’t stay backstage and walked me to the sound booth to finish the night.
I spent the rest of the show with people coming up to me after they’d see the drum sticks from Tre, being like, “You’re that dude that was on stage! That was awesome!”
I had so much confidence after leaving that show for multiple reasons. I honestly felt like that was job shadowing experience, and I was just like “Yes, not only do I want to do this (playing music in arenas), but I can do this!” Also, there was the fact that we set out to do it, and did it! It was a big dream to play with Green Day, but we took a shot at it, went to Atlanta with the intentions of getting picked, and it happened! It made anything seem possible, and I still keep that enthusiasm and optimism to this day. I still believe anything is possible.
More in This Series
- The Show That Changed Everything: Lindsay Brazell
- The Show That Changed Everything: Dr. Luv Beatz
- The Show That Changed Everything: Brother Oliver’s Andrew Oliver
- The Show That Changed Everything: Featuring Kelly Colyer of My Girl, My Whiskey & Me
Upstate News Headlines
- fête Greenville TV’s stuff to do – Nov. 26 to 29
- Will Greenville and the Upstate of South Carolina See A White Christmas This Year (2020)
- Asheville Police say suspect fired gun into Pizza Hut following disagreement with manager
- Big weather changes this weekend in Upstate South Carolina
- Traffic Tuesday: Thanksgiving travel
- Mike Bobo News Conference — USC Football
- Luke Doty News Conference — USC Football
- Trey Adkins News Conference — USC Football
- Frank Martin News Conference — 11/23/20
- South Carolina passes 4,000 total deaths related to coronavirus