I’ve always thought that The Killers were a slightly odd band, with a two track approach to producing music. Half of their catalogue is dark and moody, but on the other hand they also knock out some of the biggest anthems ever created in pop-rock history. A Killers’ gig is an evening of peaks and troughs – or a musical rollercoaster ride if you like.
Taking to the stage of London’s O2 arena, Brandon Flowers and co kick-off the night with ‘A Matter of Time’, from their new album ‘Battle Born’, before launching into mega-hits ‘Somebody Told Me’ and ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, which whip the audience into a pogoing frenzy.
Flowers paws at a keyboard, which is hidden behind a neon lightning bolt in the centre of the stage, and beneath a sea of laser beams that dart from the back of the stage, skimming the heads of an entranced crowd and dancing across the lofty rafters of the millennium done.
A cover of Joy Division’s ‘Shadowplay’ keeps the momentum going strong, before the Las Vegas natives showcase more material from their latest and fifth studio album, seducing us with ‘Miss Atomic Bomb’. The ever popular ‘Human’ evokes a sing-along reaction from the crowd, complete with vigorous fist-pumping and synchronised head nodding. I even spy one reveler showboating and playing air-bass guitar – complete with imaginary string finger slapping.
Addressing the audience, Flowers announces that the next song was one that the band were hoping to have played on the Manchester leg of their tour (Flowers was forced to cut short the band’s Manchester gig, just four songs in earlier this week citing a sore throat as the reason he couldn’t complete the show), the band tear into a cover-version of Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, which strangely seems to draw the biggest cheer of the night and is warmly received.
More new material in the form of ‘Runaways’ arouses a positive response from the audience, but it’s those huge killer anthems ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ that stir the crowd crazy and switch the evening into overdrive, and all complete with faux-stage explosion and an eruption of glitter that rains down on everyone within a 50-meter radius of the stage.
After a few brief moments, The Killers ensemble onstage for a three song encore of ‘Jenny Was a Friend of Mine’, an up-lifting version of ‘When You Were Young’ and closing with the melodic new crowd favorite ‘Battle Born.’
The Killers proved that they are still going just as strong as they were when they burst onto the scene with their debut single ‘Mr Brightside’ in 2003, and Brandon Flowers has lost none of that charm that we have all come to love. Armed with anthems, lasers, confetti and a batch of new songs, there’s no disputing that the Killers are still one of the biggest bands in the world today.