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Jon Knutson, Published July 11 2009

300 fans get Green Day autographs at session

Karla Wegener, standing in a long line at Fargo’s West Acres mall, said she was nearing the high point of her life.

“This is spiritual for me. It’s the pinnacle,” said the 27-year-old Fargo resident.

Wegener was among 300 fans of the band Green Day who received autographs from the band’s three members Friday afternoon in the Hot Topic store at the mall.

Band members, who arrived a fashionable half-hour late, played a concert Friday night at the Fargodome.

Fargo was the sixth stop in the band’s international tour that includes concerts in Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, according to the group’s Web site.

Most of the 300 fans in line at West Acres were in their early teens to mid-20s.

They earned the right to meet band members by buying a T-shirt and CD.

Waiting fans were ushered into the store, about a dozen at a time, then escorted out.

At the front of the line were Alex Marinucci and Jared Hopewell, both

13-year-old West Fargo residents.

The two, who waited in line for about 4½ hours before meeting band members, held guitars they wanted signed.

“I just really like their music,” said Marinucci, a fan of the band for several years.

After the signing, he proudly displayed the autographs on his guitar.

“I was shaking” when band members signed it, he said.

Many of the 300 fans, apparently eager to tell family and friends, got on their cell phones as soon they left the store.

Dozens of other fans – who weren’t eligible to meet band members inside the store – stood outside in hopes of getting a glimpse of them.

Hot Topic, a national chain, sells Green Day music and other merchandise.

West Acres has held other promotions similar to Friday’s event, but none at the level of the Green Day autograph session, said Tracy Clow, the mall’s marketing director.

Wegener said she’s been a fan of Green Day for about 15 years.

“Their music has gotten me through some really rough things in my life,” she said.

“Meeting them is very important to me.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530