The Killers 4/7/16

(a) setlist

    1. Midnight Show
    2. Somebody Told Me
    3. Change Your Mind
    4. Bones
    5. Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
    6. Human
    7. Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll
    8. Uncle Jonny
    9. Read My Mind
    10. Runaways
    11. All These Things That I’ve Done
    12. On Top
    13. When You Were Young
    14. Mr. Brightside

(b) highlights

  • literally just BEING THERE; I was outside of the venue, sitting on the fake lawn they set up in front of a screen and next to a bar; it was AMAZING
  • “Midnight Show” = first time they played it since 2007; me = DEAD
  • “On Top,” the end.
  • having just seen the band at the most memorable show ever at the T-Mobile Arena to two hours later watching them totally tear down this super tiny Vegas joint was pure magic

(c) lowlights

  • it would’ve been amazing to physically be in the bar, but I never would’ve dreamed of leaving the arena show early; I’m so glad I stayed and could even be on the Bunkhouse grounds at all, so…no actual lowlights

(d) overall thoughts

Fifteen minutes into The Killers’ performance at the T-Mobile Arena (see previous post), they tweeted that they’d be performing a midnight aftershow at the tiny Bunkhouse Saloon in Downtown Las Vegas. A couple of my friends had anticipated the band would be up to such antics, so we smiled, rolled our eyes, and had fun at the arena. Some fans left the show to get to the Bunkhouse and set up camp, but we stayed. The moment the arena show ended, we drove the 5 or so miles Downtown and found at least 500 people already in line. The space inside the physical Bunkhouse was full, but the garden area was still open with a screen to watch the inside, have drinks, eat food and all that.

Magically, somehow, by the grace of God, we got inside the garden and set up camp in front of the screen, exhausted but elated to even be there at all. I had envisioned sitting on the sidewalk and listening to the show from across the street, but this was better. How many bands in the world would go from selling out a 20,000-person venue to immediately playing a bar that barely holds 200 right after just for the fun of it? It was such a memorable night and iconic event that it almost felt damn-near magical as I lied on the fake grass, closed my eyes, and listened to songs I’ve heard a million times but never fail to excite me.

 

Bottom line: Everything about that night was unreal, but being a part of the band making history was the cherry on top.

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 ❤