Last night, New Yorkers got a delightful taste of Sin City when Las Vegas rockers the Killers hit Jones Beach for the second night of their US tour.
Under a full moon and starry sky, their stage featured palmettos and a wild lights show, flanked by water and permeated by salty sea air. Searchlights swirled and the opening music boomed, building anticipation as fans screamed for the band.
Brandon Flowers and Co barreled out with off-the-charts energy that—at least on Flowers’ part—would last all night. When he wasn’t behind his keyboard, adorned with a lowercase “k,” he was gesticulating, jumping around, and animatedly leading the audience through clapping, arm swaying and singing along, playing rock and roll maestro with the ease of Freddie Mercury.
“Well hello there,” Flowers said. “We are the Killers brought to you by way of the fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.” Dressed in head-to-toe black offset, of course, by those omnipresent pheasant-feathered epaulets, Flowers struck the perfect balance between stylish showman and serious musician—flashy and fun, but still dignified and dapper.
His voice clear and strong, Flowers sounded pitch-perfect, delivering hit after hit, and gave us just the right amount of between-song banter. “Any of you people ever loved somebody?” he asked to a cacophony of cheers, pontificating on the topic before delving into For Reasons Unknown, followed by a flawless version of the sexy anthem Bones that had the crowd singing along while Flowers threw his fists in the air.
“You feel so far away from us, I need a connection here,” he said with a laugh, reaching out and touching hands in the front row. Later, he gave a lucky audience member his keyboard, which was promptly replaced with a new one by the next song.
A string of highpoints came toward the end of the set, beginning with a well-received version of the new album’s first single, Human, which saw Flowers break into a dance moment reminiscent of a boxer, hopping from one foot to the other while alternately punching his fists downwards.
Giving us another little Vegas tribute, Flowers sang the first few lines of Love Me Tender a capella, before going straight into Read My Mind, which seemed destined to be the best song of the night with Flowers jumping on top of a monitor and singing his heart out with the kind of passion you just can’t fake.
But soon enough, they upped the ante with back-to-back crowd favorites Mr. Brightside—one of only three songs that featured Flowers’ keyboard’s “k” lighting up with Vegas-style bulbs—and All These Things That I’ve Done, where Flowers teetered on a monitor, thrusting his microphone stand in the air to the beat while leading the audience through the song’s “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a solider” chant while they were bathed in a sea of confetti.
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“Did you miss us?” he asked when the band reappeared for the encore, which began with Jenny Was Friend Of Mine, and Flowers clapping his hands above his head to the thumping bassline.
“We got one song left to do. Ok, boys lets do it as hard as we can.” He paused and asked, “You willing to take it as hard as you can?” which was met with screams. With a backdrop of a desert sunset and stadium-style pyrotechnics, the band rollicked through “When You Were Young,” like it was the last time they’d ever perform it, with Flowers still pumping his fists in the air until the very end.
Tour dates for the Killers:
9/2/09 Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
9/4/09 Boston, MA @ TD Bank North Garden
9/5/09 Montreal, QC @ Jacques Cartier Pier
9/6/09 Toronto, ON @ Molson Amphitheatre
9/9/09 Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
9/12/09 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/13/09 Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
9/16/09 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
9/18/09 San Diego, CA @ Cox Arena at San Diego State
9/19/09 Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay Events Center
9/22/09 Sacramento, CA @ Arco Arena
9/24/09 Portland, OR @ Memorial Coliseum
9/25/09 Boise, ID @ Qwest Arena
9/26/09 Salt Lake City, UT @ The E Center of West Valley
9/28/09 Phoenix, AZ @ Dodge Theatre
10/01/09 Orlando, FL@ UCF Arena
10/02/09 Tampa, FL@USF Sun Dome
10/03/09 Miami, FL@AmericanAIrlines Arena