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The Killers Concert Review
The Killers
Vault 350 in Long Beach, CA

by: John Paulsen

Paulsen Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Having completed back-to-back tour legs in Europe and Japan in support of their 2004 debut Hot Fuss, the Killers are back on a 32-city jaunt through the United States and Canada. Their third North American stop was at the sold-out Vault 350, a relatively new and intimate venue in Long Beach, CA.

Apparently, rhinestones are in this season.

The beginning of the show didn’t offer many surprises as the first three songs off Hot Fuss were played in order. Dressed in a black suit with a rhinestone tie – which, incidentally, matched his rhinestone keyboard cover – lead singer Brandon Flowers used his considerable charm and natural stage presence to work the crowd into a frenzy during the opener “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine.” Next up was the excellent “Mr. Brightside” which Flowers and guitarist David Keuning penned back in 2002 only a few weeks after forming the group. The normally serious Flowers actually tripped and fell during the song, but showed a bit of levity by being able to get up and laugh it off. After two more album tracks, the band tried some new material, “Where is She,” which, on first listen, may not meet their fans’ considerable expectations for their sophomore effort.

The unmistakably Duran Duran-ish “Midnight Show” was next, followed by the B-side “Under the Gun,” which is such a good song one wonders why it wasn’t on the album in the first place. The band’s massive 2004 summer hit, “Somebody Told Me,” woke up even the most casual of fans, but it was hard to suppress the feeling that the group, despite their considerable effort, might be getting a little tired of performing that number.

The band then moved on to another new song, “Stereo of Lies,” that was purportedly written about a falling out with a former band member. After the solid “Andy, You’re a Star,” the band closed the set with another excellent B-side, “Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll.” This song was included on the UK version of Hot Fuss but was mysteriously replaced with “Change Your Mind” on albums sold in the US.

After a short break, the band returned to play the mediocre “On Top,” followed by the marvelous “All These Things That I’ve Done” – which has recently received considerable radio airplay in the area. The crowd seemed to invest itself emotionally in the closer, singing the lyrics throughout the song, and even started the “I’ve got soul / but I’m not a soldier” anthem before Flowers uttered a single word.

The only thing missing from the show was the superb “Who Let You Go.” Apparently, the B-side is rarely performed live by the band, but this reviewer would argue that with its wonderful melody, fine arrangement and clever lyrics, it belongs among the best of the group’s work. Even with its absence, the Killers put on an energetic and enjoyable show.

Set list:

Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
Mr. Brightside
Smile Like You Mean It
Change Your Mind
Where is She
Midnight Show
Under the Gun
Somebody Told Me
Stereo of Lies
Andy, You’re a Star
Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll

On Top
All These Things That I’ve Done

Send any questions, comments or wine stories to jpaulsen@bullz-eye.com




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