While many attend concerts to enjoy the music, senior Jayson Verebay had another idea in mind. Holding up a sign asking band The Killers “Can I Play Drums on ‘For Reasons Unknown?’,” Verebay had hopes of rocking out with the band at the Riptide Music Festival Nov. 23.
Having played the drums since age five through self-tutelage and the aid of a teacher, Verebay’s passion for music translates to participation in the school marching band, jazz band and wind ensemble. “Just the feeling of making people happy inspires me to play the drums,” Verebay said. “Music is a universally spoken language.”
Verebay attends concerts often, yet seeing The Killers for the first time in concert translated to a successful performance in front of 35,000 people. In order to capture The Killers singer Brandon Flowers’ attention, Verebay held up his sign whenever Flowers performed near his seat section. Getting unexpectedly called up to the stage, Verebay took drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr.’s place.
“As I was coming up there, my heart was pounding and I was actually shaking. It was the most mind-boggling experience ever,” Verebay said in his post-performance interview with Rolling Stone.
Verebay considers Vannucci Jr. one of his heros and has practiced his songs earlier. “I know that the band’s played this song before and I’ve just been practicing to live versions of it for the past month,” Verebay told Rolling Stones, “but I didn’t think it would actually happen for me. I thought I would forget everything, but I got it down.”
After his performance, Verebay returned to his spot while the crowd chanted his name to enjoy the rest of the The Killers’ concert, which ended with the band’s more famous songs, “Mr. Brightside.” “I was given so many compliments,” Verebay said. “It felt unreal. I honestly couldn’t believe it was happening.”