THE KILLERS — FEBRUARY 3 AT THE MGM GARDEN ARENA, LAS VEGAS

GRADE: A-

Just as with Everything Everything, I once again found myself traveling the country to see one of the boy’s favorite bands in concert, but I’m definitely not complaining. Not only did we get to go to Vegas, but we got to see The Killers in their hometown, which was the main reasons for the trip. They came to Seattle, but what’s a two-hour plane ride to see them where they came from?

In preparation for the show, I listened to their full discography. I was familiar with their earlier hits, a couple of deeper tracks, but then counted them out of the game when they came out with “Human.” I was wrong.

While Day & Age, the album “Human” was released from, is BY FAR their worst, least-rock, least-interesting album and probably should have just been a Brandon Flowers release, the rest of their records are spot on: each one is distinctly unique but still falls under The Killers’ umbrella. I personally never heard any released tracks from Battle Born, the follow-up to Day & Age, but “The Man,” their single from 2017’s Wonderful Wonderful seems to be lighting up.

The band came out strong: the crowd was singing all the words by song one; confetti cannons were firing by song two. The show was brilliant, exciting, and very Vegas-y. Including openers, the whole show lasted for about four hours, and The Killers themselves played for at least two.

Now, Alex is a drummer, so before the show, he was talking about how at previous shows they have brought audience members up onstage to play drums for a song. When, all of a sudden, Brandon looked at Ronnie and asked if he wanted a break, I was almost aghast — this must be a regular thing for them. How cool! They ended up bringing a probably early-20s aged girl up, and she wasn’t amazing, but it definitely added a cool texture to the show.

The absolute best part, though, was the end. Personally, I’m so sick of the “mandatory encore” thing that shows do now (I feel like this wasn’t always a thing, but maybe I’m wrong). Either just play all the way through or only come back out if the crowd is actually loud enough to demand it. After their main set ended, it seemed like eons before they came back out, and I was thinking that maybe they actually wouldn’t if the crowd wasn’t loud enough.

After five to 10 minutes, Brandon finally crept back onstage, and the reason for the prolonged wait was revealed: he had changed from his matador-style suit into a full-on gold, shimmery, spandex (??) suit. It was incredible and well worth the wait.

“When You Were Young,” “Mr. Brightside,” end. Then Ronnie came out from behind his drum set, told everyone to eat their vegetables, and to vote for him in 2020. I’m not not in favor of this.

Ultimately, the show was well-played, exciting, and felt personal. The only reason I’m giving this show an A- instead of an A is honestly because of the crowd.

The Killers have a cult following. They’re famous, but not that famous. What keeps them going is their very dedicated set of fans. (My personal favorite: the skinny white guy two rows down from us who wouldn’t stop dancing and kept turning around trying to hype the crowd.) For what that audience should have been, it just couldn’t meet the energy of the band. It seemed like everyone knew all the words to the songs, but couldn’t bring themselves to sing louder than a comfortable speaking voice, and I think I heard around 15 screams the entire show. It was honestly confusing.

As for the openers, I only caught the last two songs of Amanda Brown, but she didn’t wow me. Albert Hammond Jr. was very solid and a better choice/match for the main act. Him, I would recommend.

Until next time, Vegas.

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