Sixth form student, 17, picked from crowd to perform with The Killers

Sixth form student, 17, is picked from the crowd to perform with The Killers during their live gig after she unfurled banner asking to play the drums

  • Grace Ellis from Suffolk described the experience as ‘a shock’ but ‘incredible’
  • She had just done her final AS-level exam at her sixth form hours before the gig
  • Fans of the band gushed over her performance at the ‘best ever’ concert

A sixth-former played the drums for American rock band The Killers at their sold out concert just hours after she had finished her final AS-level exam.

At 3pm last Thursday, 17-year-old Grace Ellis from Worlingham, Suffolk, had finished her last test at East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston, Norfolk, and headed off to her favourite band The Killers at their gig in Norwich City’s Carrow Road stadium.

She brought along a banner which read ‘Can I drum For Reasons Unknown please?’ designed like a Las Vegas sign to try and catch the eye of lead singer Brandon Flowers, who was born in Nevada.

The indie band is currently on tour throughout Europe with two performances in Ireland next week before heading to Germany, Croatia and Italy.

The band will return to the US and tour around the states and Canada later this year before heading down under to Australia. 

The college student finished her final exam and then rocked out on stage with her favourite band – The Killers 

Grace Ellis, 17, brought a homemade banner to catch the band’s eye – but said she was ‘shocked’ to be chosen from the crowd

Grace knew The Killers have a tradition of inviting a fan up on stage to play the drums for their 2007 hit For Reasons Unknown

Grace knew of the band’s tradition of letting a fan join the group on stage for their hit song For Reasons Unknown and said she had been practicing for weeks in the unlikely event she was chosen.

But as the opening riff to the song was played, Grace was shocked to see lead singer Flowers motion her to come on stage.

‘It was incredible. I can’t describe it. I’m so grateful that I was able to do it and I got chosen to do it. 

‘I don’t believe it still. It’s quite incredible,’ she told ITV News.

Grace, who is a massive van of the rock group, added: ‘Everyone was cheering my name, it was amazing.

‘I was still in shock, you just can’t believe it happened.

‘Just being at the gig was a great way to finish my exams and being able to play with them made it even better.’

And the drummer, who has been playing since she was 11, wasn’t the only one to enjoy her performance.

Earlier in the tour The Killers performed at Emirates Stadium in London. Pictured: lead singer Brandon Flowers and lead guitarist Dave Keuning

Grace got to use Ronnie Vannucci’s own drum kit, including his iconic personalized sticks

Audience members said the concert was the ‘best’ concert they had ever seen – including other The Killers gigs

Her college released a supportive statement saying the 17-year-old’s drumming was ‘flawless.’

Social media users were quick to jump in to praise her too, with one Twitter user posting: ‘As gigs go, Today has eclipsed everything I’ve ever seen – The Killers were amazing and Grace killed it.’

Another added: ‘Just loving going to a concert again. The Killers were great and Grace from the audience rocked it on drums!’

A third said: ‘How good was Grace from the crowd on drums guys, wow! Actually made me emotionally charged watching her play like that.’

Meanwhile lots of users branded the concert the ‘best one ever’ with dozens mentioning how amazing the impromptu collaboration had been.

Others asked whether they would see her performing with the band again soon, and added she had made her hometown proud.

The Killers were formed in Las Vegas in 2001 by Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning.

After going through a number of short-term bass players and drummers in their early days, both Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. joined the band in 2002. 

Their top hits include Mr Brightside, Human and When You Were Young.

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