Sophomore Davis Gestiehr performs with Green Day at Verizon Center
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In front of a sold-out 18,000-person crowd, a singer stands at the front of the stage, belting to the audience. Behind him stand the members of Green Day, playing the guitar, bass and drums loudly. But the performer engaging the crowd isn’t Green Day’s lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong—it’s sophomore Davis Gestiehr.
Green Day pulled Gestiehr up from the crowd at their concert in the Verizon Center March 13. The concert marked the second time the band called Gestiehr onstage to sing. The first was in 2012.
“Calling up someone to sing the song ‘Longview’ is a regular thing at Green Day concerts,” Gestiehr said. “I waited outside for hours to get close to the stage, and I also brought a sign.”
Gesthier, who also performs in Davison Duo, a band he formed with his sister Madison (‘16), thinks singing with Green Day will help him with a future musical career.
“My dream school is the Berklee College of Music and I see myself as a performer in the future,” he said. “Every time I get on stage in front of a large audience, performing becomes easier and I learn how to work the stage.”
Madison Gestiehr, who was at both concerts with Davis, is proud of him for performing in front of such a large crowd.
“The experience Davis got with Green Day is like none he will ever get again,” she said. “He not only got to be onstage with his idol, but he was also able to get a taste of what he wants to do as a profession, which is incredible.”
Junior Mackenzie Costley also attended the concert and was shocked when the band pulled Gestiehr onstage, she said.
“All of the people around me didn’t know what was going on because my friends and I freaked out when he went up and was singing with Billie Joe,” Costley said. “For him, performing and working the stage is really the best way to prepare his career, so it’s awesome.”
Despite his success and confidence performing, Gestiehr believes singing at Whitman is more difficult than in front of larger crowds, though he loves both, he said.
“When I perform in front of strangers, it just gets easier because they don’t judge me and I feel like I have more freedom to entertain than in front of my peers,” Gestiehr said. “It was a total adrenaline rush. Everything happened so quickly and I just had to go with the flow and sing the song.”