Grand Rapids drummer Scott Hickok had a dream come true Saturday night when he was called up from the floor of Little Caesars Arena in Detroit to play a song with The Killers. Hickok had already seen the popular rock band in concert enough times to know how to possibly make that dream a reality.
“I knew that there was a chance,” said Hickok. “I watch a lot of their live versions on YouTube.”
According to Hickok, the band’s show often involves inviting a drummer up on the stage to perform one of its songs.
“Some are really terrible. There’s a video in Miami of them kicking two drummers off the stage,” said Hickok. When they get to the part of the show where they need a guest drummer, Hickok explained, the lead singer, Brandon Flowers, will typically announce he needs a drummer with a strong right kick (referring to the foot used to operate the bass drum).
So Hickok went to the concert armed with a sign that read: “Drummer” on one side and “Strong Right Foot” on the other.
“I’m historically not a concert sign guy. I’m 6’2” with curly hair and always have this ‘I’m blocking your view’ anxiety in my head at every show I attend. I certainly didn’t want to add a stupid sign on top of this, but for some reason I felt with floor tickets I had a good shot on getting called up by the band if they saw my dumb sign.
“Around 11 songs into the set, the house lights came on, and Brandon Flowers saw my sign and we locked eyes for a second. I told Amy (Hickok’s wife), ‘I think he saw my sign.’ Within 10 seconds, I saw him talking to Ted the guitarist and Ronnie the drummer. Then I heard Ted start the ‘Reasons’ (the name of a song) riff and I started jumping up and down like an idiot with my 11” x 17” packing tape-coated sign.
“It gets a little fuzzy, but the next thing I know I’m high-fiving people on my way to the front of the room, climbing over the barrier with help from security staff and am escorted to side stage for an introduction to Brandon. You’ll hear Brandon say, ‘put down your phone!’ as I was attempting to start a video. I spaced on the hi-hat pattern and looked to Ted to count me in.”
So, how did Hickok perform?
“I was told I nailed it. I caught all the intricacies of the live version of the song. I’m very pleased with how I played,” Hickok said.
Hickok, 40, is originally from Alpena. He got his first drum kit when he was 14 and has been performing with bands all over Grand Rapids since he became a resident Grand Rapidian in 1998. The main band he performs with is called “Moto” which he has been with since 1996. He also plays with a cover band called, “Oracle” and The FBC All Stars, which is a house band made up of Founders Brewing Company employees past and present.
“It was an amazing time, a dream-come-true, a pure bucket-list moment,” said Hickok, who posted the following on his Facebook page after the event: “The experience was enough in itself, but everyone’s kind words made it even better. I’m very thankful today for that little 6 minutes of rock glory yesterday, and more thankful (to) every single one of you that celebrated it with me.”