The Killers 7/22/16

(a) setlist

    1. Enterlude
    2. Change Your Mind
    3. Spaceman
    4. Smile Like You Mean It
    5. Bones
    6. Losing Touch
    7. Bling (Confession of a King)
    8. Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
    9. Human
    10. Somebody Told Me
    11. Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll
    12. For Reasons Unknown
    13. A Dustland Fairytale
    14. Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley cover)
    15. Read My Mind
    16. Runaways
    17. All These Things That I’ve Done
    18. Mr. Brightside

Encore:

  1. Shot at the Night
  2. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
  3. When You Were Young

(b) highlights

  • The Killers are perfection, thank you and goodnight.
  • as someone who sees this band a lot…I really appreciate when they change things up; opening with “Enterlude” and “Change Your Mind” was definitely different and I loved it a lot
  • even though they aren’t my favorite songs in any way and I could name probably 20 Killers songs I’d want to hear before them, it was nice to hear “Bones” and “Losing Touch” for the first time in legit 8 years
  • for some reason, Brandon seemed really emotionally into “A Dustland Fairytale” and “Runaways” at this show, and that’s always a cool thing to see
  • Ronnie Vannucci continually dominates existence and all other dudes should pretty much just quit trying
  • the Elvis cover is probably the only repeated Killers cover that I genuinely really like and feel excited when it starts
  • the very confused yet earnest speeches before both “Losing Touch” and “Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll” (“This is called Losing Touch. You can find it on the YouTube”; “I went to Dave’s apartment and we read on the computer…”)
  • “Shot at the Night” just might be in my top 10 favorite Killers songs; maybe even higher
  • being all the barricade with everyone I was with; sharing the experience with the people around you can really enhance the emotional setting and I won’t ever forget the feeling of being alongside my friends
  • Ronnie Vannucci threw me his drumstick just before the encore; air-drumming your heart out really pays off, people ❤
  • “Tell all your friends.” – Ronnie Vannucci Junior, savior, genius, poet

(c) lowlights

  • Mark August Stoermer, every show is incomplete without you, I hope you realize that
  • do we really need “Shadowplay” still in this set after literally 9 years? no, we do not need “Shadowplay” still in this set after 9 years
  • why was only one song from “Battle Born” played? that album was good enough for me, BFlow. it was more than good enough for me.
  • one day, this band will resurrect “Believe Me Natalie” and I will be there to see it, I swear to all that is holy this will happen

(d) overall thoughts

Oh, Atlantic City. For some reason, almost on accident, I’ve seen The Killers in Atlantic City three times in the last four years. And strangely, every time has been particularly great. Even though casino shows are usually a drag – whether because of the crowd or something else – this show at the Borgata was fantastic. It could just be that the last time I saw The Killers was at the very very rainy and very very massive Governor’s Ball Festival, but this Borgata show felt exceptionally intimate. You could see Brandon’s pores, you could see Dave’s gray guitar picks tucked into his mic, you could hear Ronnie laugh.

The set was an unusual one in that it was so heavy on both Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town songs, but I sort of loved that. Battle Born felt a little neglected, but it also felt like the band was having fun. There was a freshness to it all, which is a great irony considering nearly every song performed was released between four and 12 years ago. No one can say that The Killers don’t treat every performance like it’s their first time playing all those tracks. There’s passion, energy, excitement, and it never feels like they’re going through the motions.

The wonder of all these shows, the reason we all keep coming back, and the reason why I’ll never stop going is all the same. Because it’s home. Brandon’s showmanship, silly speeches, and equally silly jackets. Dave’s understated presence and flawless talent (seriously, have you ever heard that dude miss a note?). Ronnie’s playful energy and awe-inspiring performance. The songs. The lights. The feeling. That shit is home.

 

Bottom line: The Killers are my children, my heart, my precious angels, and the ones that welcome me home with every single live performance. How could I not love them for that?

The Killers, HAIM 6/4/16

(i) lineup

1a. HAIM
2b. The Killers

(1a) (HAIM’s) setlist

    1. If I Could Change Your Time
    2. Don’t Save Me
    3. I Would Die 4 U (Prince cover)
    4. Forever
    5. Honey & I
    6. Give Me Just a Little of Your Love
    7. My Song 5
    8. Nothing’s Wrong
    9. The Wire
    10. Falling

(1b) highlights

  • pretty cool seeing HAIM for the first time
  • I’d only heard a couple of HAIM songs before this and didn’t know what to expect – they were definitely more high energy and enjoyable than I thought!
  • it’s stupid that I even have to say this, but it’s really awesome to see a modern rock band entirely composed of women who actually know how to play their instruments
  • there’s nothing I love more than watching a musician get lost in their own music and Este Haim’s bass face epitomizes that so hard

(1c) lowlights

  • it started raining maybe 4 or 5 songs in – just a little rain at first and then the sky.opened.up; the rain was so bad that I had to open my umbrella and duck down so the hardcore HAIM fan behind me could see…which means I watched the rest of the show from underneath the umbrella and staring at the barricade – it sounded good, I guess
  • no, seriously, that rain was freaking awful, you don’t understand

(1d) overall thoughts

As I mentioned, I had very little knowledge of HAIM’s discography before this show, but I had heard good things about their live show. I always thought their band story was pretty cool – three sisters who grew up in my hometown and ended up getting huge with cool tunes. Into it. I had heard about their live show and schtick through osmosis, so I was intrigued to actually see them.

Their Fleetwood-Mac-with-an-edge vibe was cool, made sense, and definitely enjoyable. HAIM’s live performance definitely elevated their otherwise merely adequate songs. The girls’ energy, audience interaction, and occasionally coordinated dance moves made for a good show, but couldn’t hold up in the rain for me. A large part of me wishes it had never rained so I could give my full attention to them, but….yeah, that rain was bad and I was there for The Killers, guys.

 

Bottom line: It’s no surprise that HAIM is as big as they are; it’s awesome that they’re cool chicks doing their hippie-chic thing, if only it hadn’t started rain so intensely, they might’ve won me over completely.

(2a) (The Killers’) setlist

    1. Mr. Brightside
    2. Spaceman
    3. The Way It Was
    4. Smile Like You Mean It
    5. Bling (Confession of a King)
    6. Shot at the Night
    7. Human
    8. Somebody Told Me
    9. Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll
    10. Obstacle 1 (Interpol cover)
    11. For Reasons Unknown
    12. A Dustland Fairytale
    13. Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley cover)
    14. Read My Mind
    15. Runaways
    16. All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:

  1. This Is Your Life
  2. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
  3. When You Were Young

(2b) highlights

  • it rained for two god awful hours and then stopped exactly 5 minutes before the band went onstage; g o d  b l e s s
  • Obstacle 1!!!! Interpol!!! Killing it!!!
  • Damn, “Shot at the Night” and “Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll,” sounded so good; sometimes songs you’ve heard a million times hit you just right
  • Ronnie Vannucci’s face, Dave Keuning singing “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” into Brandon’s mic, and pink blazers are best; Ted Sablay’s guitar work on “Obstacle 1” was top-notch, as well
  • that Elvis cover is so beautiful, it’s almost obnoxious; like when something is so sweet and wonderful that it destroys you
  • fun fact: the “This Is Your Life” hand wave can cure almost any illness
  • the crowd didn’t suck, no one crowd-surfed, and 25,000 people stayed through the rain – I was shocked and so, so proud of the crowd for sticking around

(2c) lowlights

  • two. hours. of. constant. rain.
  • everyone was soaked, multiple friends lost their phones to rain damage, and people were seriously crying out there in the rain – a lot of my stuff was ruined and everyone was so miserable before the set started, but we stayed; it would’ve been nice of the band to say something along the lines of “thanks for staying” or “sorry you’re all wet,” but it’s okay
  • I miss Mark Stoermer, I need Mark Stoermer, I want Mark Stoermer, please someone anyone bring back Mark Stoermer, you are the light of my life and your absence is the size of Nevada in my heart </3 I respect his wishes to take a break, but I miss him so, so much </3

(2d) overall thoughts

Picture it: it’s around 7 pm, the sun has disappeared behind gray clouds, and the sky opens up like a monsoon. It wasn’t even supposed to rain that day. In less than 10 minutes, everything you own is soaking wet and there’s nowhere to go, nothing to put on, nowhere to hide. And there’s still over two hours until The Killers come on-stage. More. than. two. hours. Then, around 9:10, the rain stops. And at 9:15, The Killers come out with Mr. Brightside – it felt like a goddamn baptism, I swear to God.

The show was great – it always is. The crowd was overwhelming in a good way, the band had their usual raw, festival-level energy, and the sound was great. Brandon came into a few lines late and Ronnie missed a few beats, but almost no one noticed. Dave looked happy to be there and it felt like such a treat to hear “Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll” live at a festival for the first time in like 8 years. I’ve been an Interpol fan for as long as I’ve loved The Killers, so it was awesome to hear “Obstacle 1” in that setting – the cover itself felt so developed and clearly not thrown together at the last minute (a couple of TK covers have felt this way…). The lights were cool and I appreciated that TK paid tribute to Interpol and the NYC music scene while still definitely making the song their own.

I won’t lie and pretend like it wasn’t completely devastating to see The Killers perform without bassist Mark Stoermer. I was in the front and closer to Mark’s usual side of the stage, so his absence was even more obvious to me. I absolutely still had an incredible time and will always love this band so much, but I never forgot that Mark wasn’t there. I hope he comes back soon and knows how much people care about him. I hope he’s happy.

 

Bottom line: Rain can crush souls, but The Killers are particularly good at reviving them. We miss you, Mark Stoermer.

 

The Killers 9/19/15

(a) setlist

    1. Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley cover)
    2. Under The Gun
    3. Spaceman
    4. The Way It Was
    5. Smile Like You Mean It
    6. Bling (Confession of a King)
    7. Human
    8. Somebody Told Me
    9. For Reasons Unknown
    10. From Here On Out
    11. A Dustland Fairytale
    12. Be Still
    13. Read My Mind
    14. Runaways
    15. All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:

  1. Finding Out True Love Is Blind (Louis XIV cover) (w/ Brian Karscig)
  2. Uncle Jonny
  3. When You Were Young
  4. Mr. Brightside

(b) highlights

  • “Under The Gun,” holllyyyyy shiiiiitttttttt, we lost it
  • “Be Still” – much like the Atlantic City show earlier this year, Brandon dedicated this one to the fans who follow the band around and had really nice things to say; he waved his hands and pointed out the sections of people, which included me and my friends…the gesture meant a lot, to say the least
  • I first discovered Louis XIV in 2005, maybe 2006, because of The Killers and haven’t seen them in years (they broke up circa 2009, if I recall), so it was amazing getting to see Brandon sing “Finding Out True Love Is Blind” with Louis XIV’s guitarist and friend Brian Karscig (he also has a pretty awesome band named The Nervous Records, who opened for Big Talk a few months before this show); my friends and I had the time of our lives, total blast from the past moment seeing this live
  • but seriously, have you ever heard the lyrics to “Finding Out True Love Is Blind”?? those lines are diiiiirtttty, freaking loved hearing Schoolboy Flowers sing those
  • Ronnie Vannucci’s existence
  • “Uncle Jonny” is one of the best Killers songs, it’s criminally underrated, and they completely transform it live – it’s freaking next level
  • the entire show, to be honest – it felt so special, so wonderful, just…everything

(c) lowlights

  • just as the band started “From Here On Out,” Brandon said, “Hey!!! Do you guys still like ‘From Here On Out’????” and I flat out yelled, “BARELY!” Because I am on my last rope with that song, let’s retire this with our dancing shoes, Mr. Flowers. Let it go.

(d) overall thoughts

Every once in a while, you go to a show expecting to have fun, but something so much bigger happens. Somehow, unexpectedly, this show ended up being one of my favorite Killers shows ever. I wasn’t even supposed to go to this show; my friends and I super last-minute caught a cross-country flight using a zillion flight points and ended up at this small venue in San Diego to see our favorite band. It was super hot and we lied on the sidewalk for most of the day waiting in line and weren’t even in the front row (we were third row center!), but, man…that show was amazing.

The band had so much energy, the crowd had so much energy, and I genuinely never knew what song was coming next. Hearing “Under The Gun” live for the first time in – what, 7, 8, 9(?) years, was so emotional and wonderful. It was such a treat, such a gift, that I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. This show in particular was just full of so much joy and happiness and celebration. The band wasn’t touring for anything (this counted as a warm-up show for their Kaaboo Festival performance!), so the crowd was super hungry for them. Considering how, at this point, The Killers hadn’t put out a new album in three years, it felt natural that everyone’s hunger made the venue environment next level. The band seemed so happy and everyone was smiling and in their element. As if I needed reminding, this show really drove home how much I love The Killers and how happy they make me. You can’t forget some experiences like that. This one was one for the books.

 

Bottom line: I love that The Killers can still surprise me after a decade of waiting in line all damn day to see their asses play the same songs I’ve heard a hundred times; 11/10 would do this whole show 50 times over again because it was almost perfect.

The Killers 4/6/16

(a) setlist

    1. Mr. Brightside
    2. Spaceman
    3. The Way It Was
    4. Smile Like You Mean It
    5. Bling (Confession of a King)
    6. Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
    7. Human (w/ Blue Man Group drum battle)
    8. Somebody Told Me
    9. Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll
    10. Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry cover) (w/ Wayne Newton)
    11. For Reasons Unknown
    12. A Dustland Fairytale
    13. Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley cover)
    14. Read My Mind
    15. Runaways
    16. All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:

  1. Shot at the Night
  2. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine (w/ Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons)
  3. This Is Your Life
  4. When You Were Young
  5. Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley cover)

(b) highlights

  • Blue Man Group drum battle with Ronnie Vannucci, I WAS DEAD
  • by far the best production of any Killers’ show I’ve ever seen; it was festival-level production…and then some
  • just being there at the T-Mobile Arena. in Las Vegas. for the opening night. wow.
  • Jimmy Kimmel introducing the band onstage via video
  • the “Shadowplay” laser light cage
  • the Back to the Future shoutout before “Johnny B. Goode”
  • “Can’t Help Falling in Love” cover was precious and fitting
  • Ronnie Vannucci Jr.
  • the entire goddamn encore from beginning to end
  • Vegas vomitting up everything it had during “Viva Las Vegas” (Showgirls? Cirque de Soleil dancers? Wayne Newton? Carrot Top? Gigantic balloons? Amazing.)

(c) lowlights

  • watching Wayne Newton was probably the most uncomfortable performance I’ve ever seen
  • the band should’ve played “Sam’s Town” but IT’S FINE
  • crowd could’ve been better, but I’m reaching – the show was INCREDIBLE

(d) overall thoughts

In case anyone on Earth doesn’t know, The Killers are from Las Vegas and, boy, are they proud about it. I’ve seen the band a couple of times in Vegas before, but never quite like this. It was a special night. Everyone knew it was gonna be special before it even began. The trip to Vegas was like going to Mecca for me and my friends – we stopped by all the usual local Killers-related spots to do stupid things on par with going to Abbey Road and crossing the street like the Beatles-type of nonsense. We waited in line for literally two days to be front row for the show because, well, The Killers are our favorite band and they were opening a brand new arena in the town that’s been the backdrop of their music and emotional upbringing. Of course we were gonna be there. And we weren’t the only ones.

I had heard all the songs they played before, and heard all the speeches, but every song was brought to a fuller life with the jaw-dropping stage production. The towering Battle Born emblem, laser light cage, flames, confetti, balloons – it all felt so very Vegas and very The Killers. It’s funny how we often remember so many strange details of shows after they’re done – this one particular line during a song, a moment when a band member did something funny, a time when the lights looked cool – but whenever I think about this Las Vegas show, I remember all of it. I remember Brandon Flowers’ sparkling blazer lapels glistening in the lights, Ronnie Vannucci’s damn-near incredible drum battle versus three members of the Blue Man Group, Dave Keuning walking through and around the green laser lines that shot up from the floor to the ceiling during “Shadowplay,” and how Mark Stoermer uncharacteristically smiled when Wayne Newton came out to play “Johnny B. Goode.” I remember my friends’ joy catching confetti as it fell from the rafters during “All These Things That I’ve Done” and feeling the heat of the towering flames during “When You Were Young.” I remember that elation of feeling the entire crowd lift their arms and wave them back and forth, back and forth, during “This Is Your Life.” I remember how we all gleefully hit the gigantic balloons toward the stage at the Jubilee show girls and Carrot Top, who was present because…Vegas. Most of all, I remember the feeling of being part of such a quintessential Vegas show on a momentous night for the band, having formed right there in that city roughly 14 years prior. And I hope I never forget it.

Bottom line: Some shows you never forget, and this was one of them.

To check out some incredible shots by a professional and crazy cool awesome guy, photog Erik Kabik took the best pictures of the night, most of which are featured here.

Bonus Material!

Video of Ronnie Vannucci Jr. vs. Blue Man Group ❤