The Killers debut new lineup and song featuring Woody Harrelson at Brixton Academy
For a band that “made it” in London, it makes sense to kick off their new album’s tour with a surprise show at Brixton Academy. It’s a particularly meaningful concert because, from now on, two founding members (Dave Keuning – guitar, Mark Stormer – bass) won’t be performing live for the foreseeable future; instead, two longtime touring musicians have been promoted to the front line.
Wearing a kitsch fringed jacket, Brandon Flowers enters the stage 45 minutes late, setting the crowd on fire. He starts singing Wonderful Wonderful‘s lead – and sensational – single The Man. Sound-wise, today is an important test and the guitar doesn’t seem to have the same character and gravity the fans of the Las Vegas four-piece are used to (it’s plainly clear on Read My Mind and When You Were Young).
The iconic K-shaped, light-bulb base for the synth has been replaced by the Mars symbol, which adds to the awkward effect of a different lineup. It’s somehow confusing how the line between seeing The Killers and Brandon Flowers solo live is much thinner. Tonight they promise a song they haven’t played in 11 years, and a brand new one – a good premise.
Somebody Told Me is the first hit to bring a huge response from a crowd whose attention span never drops, even when they play slower (but absolutely beautiful) songs such as The Way It Was and Andy You’re a Star. The set list is a journey through their discography, a mix of classics and fan favourites. There are songs that Flowers sings with higher intensity: Runaways, Spaceman, Miss Atomic Bomb and For Reasons Unknown above all.
Woody Harrelson makes a surprise appearance to introduce the new song, The Calling, which builds on a heavy groove and 70s American rock sound. Sweet Talk follows to the delight of the band’s closest followers. The Killers finish with their signature end-of-show piece, When You Were Young, proving that although they have lost some pieces (on stage), they are still a world-class act.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit The Killers’ website here.
Watch the video for The Man here: