Tuesday, 19 February 2013
LIVE REVIEW: THE KILLERS @ MANCHESTER ARENA (18/02/13)
Little background, I'm sitting in this Manchester Arena for the first time since the epic, beautiful night of witnessing the wonders of Bon Iver in November with my closest. The same month where I was supposed to see the group I'm seeing tonight in the midst of enjoying their latest album-which was arguably 2012 and their best-at it's peak at the most exciting time of the fall right before Christmas. But lost voices, disgruntled fans and rescheduling lead me to wait until mid-February to see the band I love, Brandon Flowers and The Killers touring their Springsteen epic/Heartland Vegas music touring their 'Battle Born' album.
A little more background. I'm sitting here with one of my greatest friends. A guy I've shared a lot with especially when it comes to traveling and touring the classic cities of the United States Of America. We even drove through the desert to the State of Nevada seeing where these boys came from. Aptly listening to 'Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas' off Brandon Flowers incredible solo set 'Flamingo' as neon replaced sand and we arrived in the sin city of casino, make or break dreams. So this definitely was the gig for us and the soundtrack of our nostalgia as we traded American stories in between some 'Hard Rock' food and showing more than a passing respect for the sensational support act.
Then as soon as the 'Battle Born' AC/DC-esque thunderbolt lit up to the opening riffs of 'Mr Brightside' it all came back together to a chorus of crazy cheers. We where right back on that road to Vegas from two years back, like the huge screen print of the bands latest highway strewn album cover on stage. All the time and memories came flooding back, as all the time and disappointment of the double-header gig cancellation of November ebbed away. This was well worth the wait.
From 'Sam's Town' to Manchester, England all the hits where rolled through with a 'Hot Fuss' of epic Springsteen, stadium style anthems ignited like Gaslight. It was Brandon Flowers who was boss however, donned in all black, leather and smart shirt and pants he owned the stage with assured confidence but humbled charisma that suited him down to the ground. "You came back" he marveled as everything from 'Human' to 'Smile Like You Mean It', 'Somebody Told Me' and 'Spaceman' where rolled out to bright, effervescent stage sets, fireworks, choruses of confetti and fire explosions that could even warm the foreheads of those up in the nosebleeds.
From reading Flowers mind to joining him in chanting "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier", you really got a taste of just how many hits one of the worlds best, but still somewhat underrated bands really have. Flowers and his boys couldn't be stopped, only taking a break to alert security that someone was in trouble...just like the nice, well raised rocker he is. The desert boys even paid tribute to Manchester's own Oasis and featured New Order on the mother of all tributes, besides this band got their name from one of the Manchunian bands videos, which they truly showed.
It was when this band banged out their latest work, where they really brought out the big guns. Flowers has admitted he's troubled by finding time on the set for all of his latest. He wants to tour the whole album in its entirety and we wish he would. Still, greats like 'Be Still', 'Here With Me', 'Deadlines And Commitments', 'Carry Me Home', 'Prize Fighter' and 'Heart Of A Girl' where missing on the milk bottle. Even so, everything was made up with the ravishing riffs of 'Runaways', the added "daaarlings" of 'The Way It Was' and the nuclear explosions of the tested 'Miss Atomic Bomb'. After this band ended their epic encore with the title track of their latest and greatest album and raised the bar with an army of hits it was clear to see and hear that these boys really are 'Battle Born'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.