LIVE REVIEW: THE KILLERS LIVE IN SOUTHAMPTON, WHAT WENT DOWN?
Having to sit and wait for two years to finally get their UK tour underway must have been a frustrating ordeal for The Killers. But it did lead to them having some unexpected time on their hands that led to their 2021 release ‘Pressure Machine‘. So not only is this the delayed ‘Imploding The Mirage’ tour it also means fans get to hear songs from both of their 20’s albums.
Stadium gigs can sometimes be tricky to pull off for a lot of artists having the stage so far from the front row, various sound issues and finding the best balance of songs to satisfy the crowd. Luckily The Killers have been playing at this level for over a decade and tonight in Southampton they showed how to put on ‘the show’. The former quartet (now just a duo with Dave Keuning and Mark Steormer no longer touring) have expanded to a sextet and for their latest tracks a nine piece with three backing singers to add extra soul.
All dressed in navy the band flew into opener and possibly their best single this decade ‘My Own Souls Warning‘ firing confetti into the skies though the energy took a while to spread across the stadium. Being in the seated area can be awkward when only a handful of fans choose to stand up. I found myself tapping my thigh for the first ten songs until Brandon Flowers sang the opening lines of ‘Human‘ and then the majority of the audience took to their feet. I guess it turns out we are mainly dancers.
The Killers played a great selection of their greatest hits mixed with their latest offerings. They have been stirring up the set list on their recent tour and we were treated to ‘For Reasons Unknown’ (a personal favourite) Instead of ‘River Runs Wild’ and ‘Fire and Bone’ made a return to the set. Brandon galloped around the stage throughout, just stopping to thank us for coming and declaring that we no longer need to isolate, The Killers are now rock n roll super spreaders. Ronnie Vannucci Jr is enjoying his boosted role as one of original member, by performing as many drum fills as humanly possible, whilst sitting behind his giant drum-kit accompanied by a huge gong, and why not?
The stage backdrop was spectacular, with giant video screens displaying live film quality images of the band mixed between wide angle shots of the Nevada desert or during the pre mentioned ‘ Human’ hundreds of images of people dancing. The visuals to ‘Dying Breed‘ were an awesome sight and one of the highlights of the concert. Other highlights were ‘Dustland Fairytale‘ lit by 30 thousand smartphone torches and ‘All These Things I’ve Done‘ with the perfect stadium crowd sing-a-long. You haven’t loved until you’ve sung “I’ve got soul…” alongside thousands of Killers’ fans. If you were lucky enough to have hair, your follicles would be tingling.
They closed the night with ‘Caution‘ which didn’t seem to resonate as expected, but when they returned to encore with ‘Spaceman‘ and their remix of ‘Mr Brightside‘ everyone was back on board and even some of the stewards were bouncing. Shame they omitted ‘ The Man‘ from the encore as previously played on tour, but maybe I’m just too greedy after waiting 4 years since last seeing the band. They have a new single out in a few months so hopefully there won’t be such a wait for a Killers’ fix.