The first thing Brian Bagosy usually does when he sits down to play the drums is adjust the kick pedal and snare. The 24-year-old has been playing the drums for nine years, so he likes them arranged a certain way.
But Saturday night, in front of thousands of people, there was no time to adjust. Bagosy had just been invited up on stage by The Killers, one of his favorite bands, in the middle of their headlining performance at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del. As he slid behind Ronnie Vannucci’s drum set, everything was in the perfect place.
“It’s set up exactly like [my set] is at home,” says Bagosy.
Adrenaline took over as the West Chester native joined the band for their performance of “For Reasons Unknown” from the 2006 album “Sam’s Town.” Five minutes later, it was over, and The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers said to him, “Not too shabby, not too shabby.”
Evaluating his performance later, thanks to a video his friend and fellow West Chester resident, Paul Schuster, had taken, Bagosy was pleased to see he’d held his own. “It wasn’t until about an hour later when I watched the video that I was relieved that it went well,” says Bagosy.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience was actually months in the making. The Killers frequently bring fans on stage, usually to play the drums during “For Reasons Unknown.” When the band came to the Wells Fargo Center back in January, Bagosy brought a sign indicating his interest, but the band picked another fan to play with them.
“It was a little upsetting, but I knew that Firefly was coming up and The Killers were likely to play again and I could try again there, so I made sure that I did,” Bagosy says.
Five months later, in the parking lot outside of Firefly, Bagosy and Shuster tested the sign on passersby to make sure it could be easily seen. This one read “Me + Drums = Reasons”, the same message that other fans had successfully used to get on stage with The Killers.
Photo courtesy of Brian Bagosy.
Bagosy’s efforts proved successful and he was soon ushered on stage as Flowers announced to the crowd that “we have somebody who wants to play drums on ‘For Reasons Unknown.’” Flowers introduced Bagosy: “This is Brian from West Chester, Penn. everyone.”
While getting to play alongside one of his favorite bands is a moment that Bagosy will remember for years to come, he says that his favorite part about the experience was the energy from the rest of the crowd. “People said it made their weekend. Someone told me that it inspired them to keep playing drums,” he recalls. “It makes it an unforgettable experience for everyone that was there.”