The Killers at the O2 Arena: A Wonderful, Wonderful showCultureMusicLive music
A sold-out O2 Arena welcomes back The Killers to London, the four-piece’s proper home. Not that they haven’t been around lately, but theirs were stints and this town needed more. The band – or half of it, considering Mark Stoermer (bass) and Dave Keuning (guitar) stopped touring – enter the stage playing Wonderful Wonderful, the new album’s opener. The set design is classic Las Vegas-style: clean, well-lit, with a large staircase leading to their iconic drummer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr; behind is a pyramid, which, just like all the walls around it, is a huge screen. And it couldn’t be any more relevant considering it was a pyramid – the one at Glastonbury – that baptised and crowned the band as national treasure in 2006.
Brandon Flowers wears a white shirt and black blazer, a look much closer to his tours as a solo artist – lines are getting a bit too blurred – contrasting with the rock nature of The Killers; these considerations, though, peacefully rest at the back of my mind as the Las Vegans storm the arena with a heart-stopping rendition of Somebody Told Me. It’s hard to resist this beat and sound, most of the people leaving their seat and dancing throughout the set. The Man, Smile Like You Mean It and Spaceman are some of the highlights of the first half of the show; the frontman cites Hemingway: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self,” then incites “Ronnie ‘unstoppable’ Vannucci Jr” to “give these people what they want” on For Reasons Unknown.
It’s a performance so consistent and intense it’s even hard to realise its peaks. While Life to Come stands out for depth and emotion, The Killers set the North Greenwich venue on fire with Human, When You Were Young and the closer Mr Brightside. Sadly, they haven’t played Tyson vs Douglas, one of the best tracks from their latest record – and also a fan favourite – but Flowers redeems himself singing in a gold Elvis suit for the entire duration of the encore, re-embodying that beautiful rock kitschness we love him for. This really is a (pardon the cliché) a Wonderful, Wonderful night.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Rob Loud
For further information and future events visit The Killers’ website here.