Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
The Killers' drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. was silent the entire night – when it came to speaking anyway – until he left the stage at the end of the show. He told the crowd, "Thanks for giving me a job."
When you do your job well, employment ought not to be a problem.
And that pretty much summed up this night of The Killers.
The proudly Las Vegas-based band leaned into their roots with a stage show that was visual eye candy for sure – from the backing screen, which was alluring, but never overwhelming with backdrops, and superb lighting (especially the reds), not to mention a few times in which lasers went off into the crowd to good effect.
The Killers were on the propulsively poppy side with lots of songs that could be labeled anthemic, doing so from the start with "My Own Soul's Warning" with the synth start before the band fully kicked in as the confetti flew for the first of three times.
Lead singer Brandon Flowers remains a likable front man. Filled with good cheer, he told the crowd this was a "super spreader event...of peace...leave and rock and roll." Nothing heavy to say the least.
Flowers took some leads on keyboards, but the real powerhouse was Vannucci on drums, setting a muscular beat throughout.
Yet, The Killers also would shift gears – drastically – with a curious cover "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." Not sure it was the best choice of covers. Better was their take on The Smiths' "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr helping out.
They threw out a new song, "Boy," released earlier this year, which also worked. And it helps when you have material like "Human," "Spaceman" and "Somebody Told Me."
The Killers maintain an optimistic bent about them. What better evidence than the closing song of the night, "Mr. Brightside," their very first single back in 2003 and somehow a staple at weddings despite the at times negativity of the relationship. The band did the 50/50 Lu Cont Thin White Duke with keyboards and lights going off with the crowd singing along before launching into the full-blown version with Marr spicing it up on guitar.
"Mr. Brightside" is about the third man out in a relationship, but despite that he's holding on, ever the optimist. Things are not that bad for The Killers. They're doing just fine and fully employed.
Marr, former lead guitarist for The Smiths, opened up with a set that meshed well with the headliners. Like Flowers, his backing group tended to stay in the background. Known for his axe abilities, Marr added spark and bite to the songs, but didn't tend to overwhelm.
With songs on the musically body-moving side, Marr looked back with a few numbers from The Smiths – "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" and the chestnut, "How Soon Is Now?" Not resting on his laurels, that pedigree ought to be sufficient to keep him employed as well.