Teen Lehi becomes a rock star on stage with The Killers

LEHI, Utah – It was a Lehi teenager who had just started his last year of high school literally leaping to rock star status overnight when he took to the stage with one of the biggest bands in the world.

Snatched from a sold-out crowd at Vivint Arena, 17-year-old Alec Andersen took to the stage with The Killers and performed “For Reasons Unknown” with the group in front of thousands of screaming fans on Tuesday.

It was the moment of a lifetime for Andersen and his family, but it was one that took nearly a year to make.

While Andersen’s dream of playing with his favorite band may seem far-fetched, he knew it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibilities. The Killers have long been known to attract fans on stage to help perform the song, but after the pandemic, no one knew if the band would continue the tradition.

The Andersen family bought tickets for the concert about a year ago, and Alec practiced the drum parts of the song several times a week before the show.

But before he even got to the concert, Alec went through tough times getting over the hardships of being a teenager. While the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, Andersen’s parents said it has hit their son, who suffers from anxiety, the most.

Alec’s mother, Johnny, said, “The only thing I’ve always seen gives him comfort is his music.” “If he could get off, put on his noise-cancelling headphones, practice his drums or listen to music, that was his faraway space.”

Alec also had to make the difficult, and often socially awkward, transition to high school. It was a traumatic time for the whole family, including his parents who just wanted to see their son thrive through tough times.

“Three years after this, we just find ourselves, I mean, we’re religious people and just say, you know, my God, can you give this kid a win?” Eric Andersen, Alec’s father, said through tears.

“When can he have a moment of his own?” Johnny asked. “It doesn’t have to be in the spotlight. But could it be that he has something, something that reminds him that he is known and that he exists, that he knows about it? And that people care about it?”

They had hoped that moment would come with The Killers. But Alec had to figure out a way to get attention from the band’s lead singer, and Utah native, Brandon Flowers.

“I realistically thought I might have a 2% chance of that actually happening. Because first of all, you have to get them to play the song. Second, you have to fight for all the other people who probably know about the same trend and want to get up there, Anderson said.

The teen created a banner that read “B-Flo, can I drum with my heroes,” and in between songs a group started shining lights on the poster to get the flowers’ attention. Seconds later, the singer noticed the sign and the dream came true.

“I was like, ‘Nice, this is about to happen,'” Andersen said. “My dream is about to come true.”

Alec jumped on stage, totally adrenaline-filled, and started pounding away and stealing the spotlight from his new bandmates that he’s admired for years.

The video below shows Alec’s confusion with The Killers at Vivint Arena

Alec is playing with The Killers

“It took me a minute to sort of take on the fact that the idols of musicians were standing right next to me, and they were like shaking my hands and hugging me, and that just startled me,” Alec recalls. “And so I shivered more because of the truth, not because I had to play, but because I was in the presence of, you know, Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vanucci. That was pretty cool for me.

“So, yeah, the adrenaline kind of dropped once we really started playing the song. But it was definitely a rush.”

Alec Andersen

Skylar Comb

Alec Andersen appeared on the screens of the Vivint Arena while playing with The Killers

It was a rush for Alec and everyone else who was part of the journey to the theatre.

“I was just high,” Johnny recalls. “I’m like, I can’t believe this is happening. I’m screaming, I’m shivering, I’m crying. I’m like, is this really real? But I’ve seen that, with it being in the rhythm since seventh grade, it’s in his element.”

Eric said, “I’m not ashamed to say this, but I’m not crying right now. Even today, when the noise subsided, the adrenaline stopped.”

Alec Anderson The Killers

Skylar Comb

Alec takes a selfie with The Killers after playing on stage with the band in Salt Lake City

Surprisingly, unlike most teens, Alec didn’t immediately share his time in the social media spotlight, so his day at Skyridge High School on Wednesday was fairly normal and there were no rules waiting for him on campus.

In the end, Alec said he got a much bigger reward from sharing the stage with some of the biggest rock stars on the planet.

“To me, being on stage, I felt like a redeemer from the three years I hid away and kept myself, you know, in a dark hole and away from social relationships and all that stuff; not being confident, not being myself. But it was my graduation year, which Starting to graduate, I decided I kind of wanted to make a change with that, and be there to kind of represent me like, you know, this is it, this is the turning point from the bad few years and the rest of my life now.”

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