The Killers 5/14/14

(a) setlist

    1. Spaceman
    2. Somebody Told Me
    3. The Way It Was
    4. Smile Like You Mean It
    5. Bling (Confession of a King)
    6. Human
    7. Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
    8. For Reasons Unknown
    9. From Here On Out
    10. A Dustland Fairytale
    11. Heartbreak Beat (The Psychadelic Furs cover)
    12. Read My Mind
    13. Runaways
    14. All These Things That I’ve Done


  1. Shot At The Night
  2. A Matter of Time
  3. When You Were Young
  4. Mr. Brightside

(b) highlights

  • loooooooool, this setlist, who do you think you are opening with “Spaceman,” covering both CCR and the Psychadelic Furs, closing with “WYWY” and “Mr. Brightside” (we all nearly passed out) AND playing “A Matter of Time” for basically the first time in 5ever.
  • the energy of this show was next level; it’s always great to see the band for the first time in a long time because the crowd feels starved, the band wants to perform at level 11/10, and everything feels familiar and new all at once
  • I don’t think of us (including the band??) realized Mohegan Sun was an arena, so we were shocked at the reception of it all; hearing “Shot at the Night” echo against arena walls is bone-shattering
  • I say this after pretty much every show, but this night, in particular, was a great one for Ronnie Vannucci Jr. There was, uh, some magic sparks flying around that venue and that’s all I’ll say about that. P.S. I caught his drumstick that night. Always a treasure.
  • I freaking LOVE that the band decided to give “A Matter of Time” another chance; for some reason, it – along with “Deadlines and Commitments” off Battle Born – became neglected during the proper tour. The band has a habit of playing deep cuts in the UK, getting a lukewarm reaction, and then shelving those tracks before they hit the US. This shit irritates me to no end because 1. why does the UK get to decide what the US hears, 2. the US has a history of liking songs the UK does not (e.g. “Midnight Show”), and 3. the situation has never happened in the reverse where the US dictates what the band takes abroad. It’s a small point, but an important one. “A Matter of Time” needed, uh, time to ruminate and grow with audiences; every victim was freaking ecstatic the moment it began. Side note: it looked like Brandon’s forehead was going to pop during the final verse like, whoa.
  • the “From Here On Out” drum solo gave me life the entirety of 2013 and 2014, and the only reason I allow that song to exist in my memory and occasionally on my iPod.
  • I literally never say this at Killers shows, but Joywave was probably the best opening band I’ve seen in years. Well done.

(c) lowlights

  • if you’re wondering what it’s like to wait in line for over a day and half, sitting in a casino in the middle of Uncasville, Connecticut and arguing with everyone from the stupid security to British fans, I assure you – it’s not fun.
  • I had JUST finished writing my Masters’ thesis this week and was on serious meds from a crappy as hell sickness that I was still getting over. How I survived this show, I’ll never know.

(d) overall thoughts

This show was a bit of a surprise. First of all, it should be sort of surprising to anyone that a band can have a great show in somewhere called Uncasville, Connecticut, especially in a casino. Second of all, it’s sort of shocking that a casino – again in a place called Uncasville – would actually house a full-fledged arena with a legitimate setup. Third, Brandon Flowers openly admitted somewhere during the beginning of the show that the band themselves didn’t even realize they were playing an arena that night. No one should have a great show in a casino in nowhere Connecticut, but The Killers sure as hell did.

The week of this show was strange and more emotional than usual for me. I had quite literally the day before turned in my Masters thesis that I had spent over a year working on and was graduating the following week. This tour was devoted to Direct Hits, a best-of compilation for my favorite band who somehow managed to keep capturing my heart after a decade of official releases, and I was somehow seeing them at this crossroads of my life, all approaching the 10-year anniversary of the album that sold me and the world on this brilliance, Hot Fuss. In Uncasville. What a topsy-turvy experience.

To put it simply, this surprise of a show was an awakening. To delve deeper, it was an awakening for me not just as a fan, but a fan who’s been around since the very beginning. People always, always ask me and my friends: how can you see them, how can you see a band so many times, hear the same songs, the same speeches at the same places, over and over again? Because of shows like this one. They surprise you. The band surprises you and they surprise themselves. I remember feeling like this show would be a one-off stop, an obligatory show for this compilation album that no one really asked for, and something to keep us hanging on until the next real release. And it was, but it wasn’t. Sure, Battle Born had been released nearly two full years previously and that album and tour felt very much over, but it’s only when tours are over do some songs get the chance to shine. “A Matter of Time” was a pleasant surprise, and the band played it with a bit of a fuck-you attitude – a stance that very much conveyed, “See? This is a GREAT song. We told you.” I didn’t mind the aggressive way it was played, though it was a bit confusing for Brandon Flowers to try to prove something to an audience that never claimed they didn’t want to hear it. (Note: See point about the UK ruining everything for US fans above.) A part of me wished they had also played “Deadlines and Commitments” – another virtually ignored song from Battle Born I wished since Day 1 was regularly rotating in the set. But I digress.

It’s because of “A Matter of Time” and CCR (who doesn’t love CCR??) and the Psychedelic Furs and hearing “Shot At the Night” in all its glory why being a fan of The Killers is so great. Yeah, they’re going to play the same 12 tracks always – sometimes even in the same order! – throw in some covers, and maybe a sneaky song or two, but it’s in the presentation of those songs that we thrive.

I remember the band being very connected that night. Brandon talked about his dancing shoes (as always), Dave was a bit more fired up than usual, Mark was pleasantly present, and Ronnie was exceptionally engaged. It didn’t matter that they openly had been so checked out that they didn’t even know they were playing an arena, and openly admitted that Direct Hits was label-mandated; it mattered that they knew they had to perform in every sense of the word. They had to show up, they had to perform, they had to surprise. And they did. At the end of the night when they all bowed together, the smile they had across all their faces suggested they even surprised a bit of themselves.


Bottom line: Approaching the 10-year anniversary of Hot Fuss, The Killers could’ve easily put out their best-of Direct Hits, half-assed a couple of shows, and called it a night. But they didn’t. They played a solid as hell show in goddamn Uncasville, Connecticut and sold it like it was their first time. Huzzah, Brandon, Dave, Mark, and Ronnie. That’s why we love you.


Photo by Sana Masood