Review and Photos by Matt SchwenkeWith a red velvet curtain covering the back wall and a board of lights swearing they "are" the Killers, the band seems to have Broadway class, but can they rock?
Quick to prove that there is much more than interesting clothes and expensive lighting to their recent success, The Killers were right-on and powerful as they opened with "Midnight Show" and later in the electric "On Top." While skipping the banter between songs, frontman and keyboardist Brandon Flowers spoke volumes while performing their mix of rock and electronica that nears the darkly interesting sounds of Depeche Mode, but also turns to the lighter and catchier Brit pop overtones of Oasis. All approximations and similarities aside, The Killers are a uniquely creative band that display a knack for the dramatic while performing their music-- Flowers has a smart, sexy, and dark appeal that would make him the perfect narrator for the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and drummer Ronnie Vannucci plays with the flailing precision of a Max Weinberg when he isn't standing up and playing. Other than what sounded like one out of key vocal line and a single hiccup in the rhythm, The Killers played exceptionally well while still being able to entertain.
Unveiling the new song "Lot's of Pretty Faces," a dark and heavy rock tune, The Killers gave a glimpse as to what direction their song-writing may be taking, but the performance lacked a continuity with the previous songs. Turning things back around, Flowers was endearing in his rendition of "Indie Rock 'n Roll" as he sat on the stairs that led to Vannucci's drumset. With bassist Mark Stoermer laying down grooves with interesting phrasing throughout, the band added unusual pauses as Flowers sang theatrically over top. The result was the creation of raucous crowd that only seemed to get louder as The Killers played a spotless version of "Mr. Brightside" and ended the set with the commanding "Smile Like You Mean It."
As the band triumphantly began their encore with "Jenny Was a Friend Of Mine," the sound seemed to have become muffled. One thing that was clear, however, was the slight differences from their debut recording in solos and vocal phrasing that made the night that much more unique. Ending the evening with "All These Things That I've Done." The hour-long set from the Killers was way too short. I know I want more.
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