Day & Age Tour

The Killers
April 17, 2008

The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, NV

Fire shot up and sparks shot down at the encore performance of "When You Were Young" and I couldn't wipe the grin off my face after seeing one of the best bands of this decade live in their own hometown.

The Killer's third album, Day & Age, never got the proper respect it deserved on 17 Tracks. Completely overshadowed by Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreaks and Coldplay's Prospekt's March EP which were released the same day, Day & Age was slid to the back of the shelf knowing that it would be dusted off one day in the near future. That day came when I decided to go see the Killers play their home town of Las Vegas in the middle of finals week. I ended up being glad that I both took the time to immerse myself in the Killer's latest offering, as well as blow of studying for a couple days to see them perform.

The hometown heroes were the inaugural performers at the Hard Rock's new Joint venue. Promising to blow the roof off, Brandon Flowers and the gang opened the show with a rousing rendition of "Spaceman" as the sold out crowd sang along. The energy erupted three songs in when "Somebody Told Me" was played, validating my belief that Hot Fuss is not only still their best album, but a fan favorite.
During "For Reasons Unknown", Dave Keuning kept the bass going as the song broke down and Flowers asked the crowd, "Have you ever been in love? Have you ever had butterflies and then lost them?" before commanding the audience to go and fight for them. They might not be a band for power ballads, but Flowers is a true romantic. "Sam's Town" was given a raw touch as Flowers played the piano and sang about a song he described as the Killer's way of being proud of their home country despite anti-American sentiments. Taking away the Sgt. Peppers-esque theatrics of the song, the Bruce Springsteen inspiration shines through.

One of the band's least instant but most rewarding tracks, "All These Things I've Done" closed out the show as Flowers, along with 4,000 fans chanted the profound mantra, "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier". It's a much better catch phrase than "Are we human or are we dancer", although that one's probably pretty profound too, and it sums up who the Killers are. They wear their influences on their sleeve but, they don't ever rip it off.Watching a Killer's show is like watching the history of rock and roll before your very eyes. You hear hints of the aforementioned Springsteen, dashes of U2, New Order, Johnny Cash, and Pet Shop Boys. The Killers are a band who understand who they are, where they come from, and where rock comes from. Brandon Flowers was born to be a rockstar. His passion is much bigger than his short stature suggests and, his entertaining showmanship and on stage antics are absolutely amazing.

So to all of you who haven't given Day & Age the time it deserves or who didn't even bought (or illegally downloaded...shame on you...) a Killer's album since you grew tired of "Mr. Brightside", give the Killer's a spin this weekend. And, if you ever get a chance, see the Killers live. They do not disappoint.


Anonymous said...

I am happy that you left finals for a Killers concert...thanks for you thoughts and your review...I will fosho look them up again in time....Spaceman is a little weird. Peace out!!!

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