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The Killers

Las Vegas epic rockers The Killers played the M.E.N Arena on Sat 17 February.

Check out the reviews of Brandon Flowers & Co. with your M.E.N's top Killers posts:

Manchesteronline > Posted Mon 19 February

"THERE are many bands who express surprise upon finding themselves ' in most cases, after a long, hard and often thankless slog ' suddenly jettisoned into the big time.

We're all familiar with those moments at large-scale gigs where the band, starry-eyed as their fans, will touchingly profess their amazement at their new-found ability to fill whole arenas with adoring audiences.

This nod to their beginnings has become almost a pre-requisite of the mainstream indie-rock set.

The Killers, however, are no such band. Though far from arrogant, there is a self-assurance and confidence about the Las Vegas foursome that smacks of a band who always knew they were destined to entertain on an epic scale.

Homage

Having arrived on these shores three years ago with grand designs, steely ambition, and a roll call of iconic British rock, indie and synth-pop influences under their arm, they commenced a steady and ' seemingly ' inexorable climb to the top of a music scene that was ripe for the taking.

Standing before a packed M.E.N. Arena tonight, front-man Brandon Flowers looks for all the world like he has found his spiritual home.

Every inch the consummate showman, he entertains with a rejoicing gusto that needs no self-deprecating epithets to validate it.

The stage-set is carnival-esque theatrical, lavish and opulent, and the band equally so.

Star quality

Guitarist Dave Keuning has dressed for the occasion in a silver lame jacket; when the spotlight picks him out ' as it frequently does, given his penchant for drum riser leaps and other attention-grabbing moves ' he resembles a hyper rock-star-ish Brian May, complete with wild hair.

Opening with latest album title-track Sam's Town, a plethora of superbly executed stadium-sized numbers follows, with the mix evenly spread between first-album favourites and tracks from their sophomore record.

The sound is big, roomy and overwhelming, with an assured vocal from Flowers disproving any critics who have defamed his live abilities as not up to scratch.

Frontman

Flowers presides over the evening with all the power, passion and sartorial style of an evangelical preacher, deftly working his crowd and whipping them into a frenzy of clapping, foot-stamping, arm-waving excitement.

Favourites When You Were Young, Somebody Told Me and Mr Brightside predictably draw an ear-splitting reaction, but there are also a couple of surprises thrown in for good measure.

A nod-to-Manchester cover of Joy Division's Shadow, for exampe, and Flowers' guitar playing on For Reasons Unknown.

A superlative rendition of All These Things That I Have Done finally arrives in the encore; the crowd gladly take up the gospel part whilst Flowers conducts, standing atop a piano, surveying his congregation with visible delight.

Powerful

If tonight's performance is anything to go by, The Killers will surely be a regular fixture on the arena circuit for a long time to come.

As the crowd would no doubt testify, they really were born to do it."


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