Meet The Killers super-fan who camped out at 6 a.m. with a sign that got her onstage with the band at Summerfest
Hannah Webber's journey from the audience to on stage with her favorite band The Killers started at 6 a.m. when she and her friend arrived at the Summerfest gates.
Admittedly, Webber, a 24-year-old from Waukesha, said, it was "a little unnecessary" to get there so early. "But I don't regret it," she said. "It paid off."
Webber and her friend had general admission pit seats, which she said was stressful. "We had to wait for Summerfest to open, then the amphitheater, and we had to wait for security to get our wristbands," and that whole time, she said, "people were trying to push past us."
But Webber prevailed and was able to secure a spot in the front row at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater where she could display her sign, which read, "Been here since 6 a.m. to ask 'can I play with you on For Reasons Unknown?' "
The answer was yes. About midway through the show Webber caught lead singer Brandon Flowers' attention with her sign. "He looked at me squinting, reading the sign, then he mimed like do you play drums? And I mimed back, no I play bass, and then he talked with the band," she said.
After confirming that Webber was from Wisconsin, Flowers invited her on stage for “For Reasons Unknown,” and introduced her to the crowd as "Hannah from Milwaukee," though her real stage name, she said, is "Hannah Bass."
Webber danced her way on stage and pointed to the sky as she strapped in to play bass. Then, for the entirety of the song, "she crushed the finger-picking performance like she had been on tour all year," Journal Sentinel reviewer Erik Ernst wrote in his review of the show.
Webber left the fans wanting more — as they chanted her name as she left the stage.
"I wasn't nervous at all. It felt really good," Webber said about being on stage. "It's a lot better when people are chanting your name rather than booing, so I was feeling pretty good when they started cheering."
When she got back into the crowd, she was met by people who were dumbfounded that her sign worked and others who were convinced she was a plant, she said.
Webber's mom, Jill Webber, said she is still trying to process it all. "It's just the most phenomenal thing; this has been her dream for so many years," she said. "But unfortunately I think life goes downhill from here," she joked.
Seeing her friend on stage made the waiting since 6 a.m. worth it, Nicole Kotras said. It was her first Killers concert.
Webber started playing bass around five or six years ago, about the same time she started listening to The Killers, she said. "Their original bassist, Mark Stoermer, was a huge inspiration to me because he always seems so cool playing," she said.
She couldn't quite put her finger on why the band resonates with her so much, but said, "There is just something about them I always loved."
Currently, Webber plays bass in her church's music group, but she said they denied her request to add The Killers to the songbook. "I've asked, but they turned me down."
Being able to play bass with her favorite band was not the only reason Webber wanted to be on stage, she said. "Playing on stage is cool and all, obviously a life-changing moment. But, my real motive to get on stage was to let the drummer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr., know I named my dog after him."
His response, she said, "Oh, that's awesome."
Surprisingly, this is not Webber's first time meeting the band. She met them two years ago at the Rave when she won meet and greet passes. But, she said, they didn't recognize her this time around.
It's also not the first time The Killers pulled a fan on stage to join them in playing "For Reasons Unknown." In 2018 at Glasgow music festival, they invited a fan on stage to play drums for the song.
Despite her rocking performance, she hasn't received any offers to the join the band, but said, "I am open to it."
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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story omitted the attribution to Journal Sentinel reviewer Erik Ernst.
Contact Keith Schubert at (414) 839-4211 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @keithsch94.