When I went: 28 November 2017
Location: The O2, London
Performers: The Killers
Special points: Charisma of Brandon Flowers
Best bit: The Man / Read My Mind
If I could change one thing: Cut out the covers
The Killers’ brand of melodic, anthemic indie rock works especially well in a live setting, and Brandon Flowers is a very natural, charismatic frontman. The whole show was a great experience, and every song was sung and played with great finesse and tons of musicality.
My only slight gripes were the fact that the band came on half an hour late – which is not great when some audience members need to get home and can’t stay for your last songs – and the fact that the covers thrown into the set didn’t really work, especially Bizarre Love Triangle with Bernard Sumner, which was one of the encores.
However, the rest of the show skilfully combined The Killers’ (probably better-known) older hits with some of their new highlights. Read My Mind and The Man were particularly good and made good use of the three female backing singers. The use of vocoder and keyboard effects on Human was also cool and helped to expand the introduction to the song.
The staging was similar to that of the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ show in that it wasn’t particularly innovative but made good use of geometric shapes, lasers and rotating patterns, as well as confetti cannons.
Brandon told an endearing story going into All These Things That I’ve Done about working at a bellman at a minor Las Vegas casino and coming up with the fragments of words and melody that formed the basis of the song. He looks and acts like you would imagine a typical rock star would – handsome, tall, skinny, strong cheekbones, lots of confidence and a unique and strong voice – so the story was a good reminder of the luck and timing that all musicians need to become stars, and how easily they could never get there. The refrain of ‘I got soul but I’m not a soldier’ was taken up by the audience and made a good (false) end to the main show before the performance of When You Were Young and the encores.
The audience seemed to love most of the set (the covers weren’t received with quite as much enthusiasm) but especially got into Somebody Told Me, Smile Like You Mean It and the encore of Mr Brightside.