The flu was slowly working its way through members of The Killers crew for weeks during their Wonderful Wonderful Tour. The morning of the 1st Bank Center performance, front man Brandon Flowers awoke with the sickness. The audience was surprised when he confessed he was under the weather in the middle of the show. Flowers sang, danced, and occasionally played the bass and keyboards while channeling Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, and Bruce Springsteen. I can’t form complete sentences when I am sick never mind performing a high production rock show. And it was a SHOW with incredible video images that appeared to be popping out of the screen, lights probably stolen from an alien spaceship, confetti cannons that covered the entire arena with …. confetti, and sexy scantily clad background singers.
Brandon Flowers is the youngest of six children raised in a Mormon family. After moving to Las Vegas in his teens, he became involved in the local music scene. Two years after graduating from high school, Flowers formed The Killers. A few years later they were headlining Madison Square Garden and Wembley Stadium. Drummer Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. and Brandon Flowers are the only official members in The Killers currently performing. Bassist Mark Stoermer and guitarist Dave Kenuing are still in the band, but decided not to tour (bassist Jake Blanton and guitarist Ted Sablay replaced them). Three background singers and two other additional musicians complete the current touring line up. Despite the band member shuffle, fans were there to see Flowers returning from a five-year hiatus from The Killers music.
|The Killers – All photos by The Rock and Roll Princess|
Dressed in an expensive dark suit, Brandon Flowers looked more like a 1940’s crooner than a rock star. He took his place in back of a blue neon male symbol placed across his keyboard. The background singers (two wore suit jackets without shirts and a lot of two sided tape) were behind pink neon female symbols. The politically charged Run from Cover started the show with an intense energy that remained throughout the night. One of the most memorable moments was during the song The Man (the neon gender symbols finally made sense) when tons of pink confetti fell from the rafters. Flowers sounded like Tom Jones as he sang, “I got gas in the tank/I got money in the bank/I got news for you baby, you’re looking at the man.” The main set ended with All These Things That I’ve Done with the crowd chanting, “I got soul, but I not a solider” when another batch of confetti mixed with red, white, and blue streamers rained down upon the masses.
|The Book of Mormon/King of Rock|
The encore combined Brandon Flowers’ faith and hometown of Las Vegas together in the song The Calling. The introduction had the voice of actor Woody Harrelson reciting Matthew 9:10-12 (as he does on the album). Flowers came out dressed in a shinny metallic gold suit dancing like Elvis Presley singing, “I walked into town with a message for my old man/I’ve got the last two chapters of Matthew in my hand.” The Book of Mormon/King of Rock persona changed when he brought out his inner Bruce Springsteen for their anthem When You Were Young. The guy behind me was belting out the song louder than Flowers who had a microphone. The night ended with Mr. Brightside one of the first songs The Killers ever wrote and their biggest hit. As the band left the stage and the house lights went up, Johnny Mathis’ Wonder Wonderful played. The audience left the venue covered in streamers and confetti hoping they didn’t catch the flu from the guy in the gold metallic suit.
|Albert Hammond Jr.|
Supporting act Albert Hammond Jr. (best known for playing guitar in the band The Strokes) was one of the supporting acts. Appearing in a red and black striped suit (unfortunately not a metallic gold one) Hammond performed a set of guitar driven songs featuring material from his soon to be released solo album entitled Francis Trouble. The subject matter concerns his twin brother Francis being stillborn. Despite the tragedy, the songs came across as upbeat. Hammond started his own line of men’s suits (he really did) that will keep the rocker looking sharp singing about the dead for years to come. R.I.P. Francis.
The reality television show The Voice (the one with spinning chairs) got Amanda Brown noticed when she wowed the audience with her version of Aerosmith’s Dream On. This led to background singing gigs with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, and Adele. Now she is stepping in front of the spotlight as one of the opening act for The Killers. Brown wore all black with silver boots (unfortunately not a metallic gold suit). Her vocals silenced the crowd who were bursting in anticipation to see Mr. Brightside. Brown’s new single Believers could easily be played on mainstream radio, but the slow acoustic number Amen impressed me the most. Brown’s set was short, but she returned as one of The Killers‘ background singers wearing a suit jacket without a shirt.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one pulling pink confetti out of my hair wearing a gold metallic suit without a shirt.