We knew the great leader was on his way when the hall filled with loud thumping music, the sort you imagine neighbours from Hell blasting out at 2am until they are served with an Asbo.
The lyrics went: "The kids united will never be defeated", over and over again. This was to be the theme of the leader's speech - unite around me, and we'll keep on winning elections forever. Disagree with what I say, and the party is doomed.
A crowd seated on the main platform clapped their hands in time with the tune. Who were they? None of their faces were recognisable.
Perhaps they were the Ordinary People, now given a role at so many Labour events. Teachers, nurses, bus drivers - that sort of thing. Whoever they were, they led the conference audience in merrily clapping along as the party's achievements were listed on gigantic video screens above their heads.
What they really wanted, of course, was to see the leader. Make no mistake, the Labour faithful do want him.
In the newspaper columns and around dinner tables, there may be mixed feelings about Tony Blair. But not here.
The Prime Minister has been compared often to a vicar, but just because it's become a bit of a cliche doesn't make it any less true.
He's not a cuddly Church of England vicar, however, not even a trendy one. Here in Brighton he was the American televangelist, eagerly awaited by an excited crowd who know he has some special wisdom to pass on.
They had to be patient. Mr Blair keeps his audience waiting every year, perhaps to build up the excitement to fever pitch. It's certainly not down to some last-minute rewriting of his speech or adjustment of his tie, in a conference organised with ruthless efficiency and faultless competence.
We even had to sit through a few short remarks from Ian McCartney, the Labour chairman, and a short video showing the greatest moments of Labour's past eight years, including a joyful Gisela Stuart becoming Labour MP for Edgbaston.
But then, at last, he appeared. The music seemed to grow even louder, if that was possible, and the audience leapt to its feet. Mr Blair doesn't even need to open his mouth to win a standing ovation.
The speech itself was workmanlike and full of detail. But again and again he hammered home the message that the party needs him.
The reason? The apocalypse is on the way, in the form of globalisation. The world has changed, and therefore Britain needs to change, and Labour needs to change it.
So you need a reforming, modernising Labour Party, otherwise known as New Labour, and that's what Tony Blair is all about.
A few controversial issues were raised - ID cards, more nuclear power stations, tuition fees, how rubbish the French and Germans are, and a big no on withdrawing from Iraq.
Each was met with obedient silence or, in the case of student tuition fees, cheers and applause.
The Labour faithful still loves Tony Blair. Don't imagine otherwise.