Live Review: The Killers @ Madison Square Garden

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story + pictures / Adeline Tan

New York (14th May 2013)

The Killers step on stage, beaming at the fans, lights all brightly lit as they start the set with an instant bang, “Mr. Brightside” their breakthrough hit in 2004 that catapulted them to stardom. The crowd roars and sings along like a single entity word for word. Everyone knew the song by heart. The lights die down, smoke machine takes effect and the stage explodes with color with screens depicting the psychedelic beauty of space. That is when the song “Spaceman” takes flight.

The Killers consists of spirited drummer Ronnie Vannucci, basist Mark Stoermer, guitarist Dave Keuning and frontman Brandon Flowers, who exudes showmanship and you could tell he learnt a thing or two from living in glamorous Vegas. The flamboyant entertainers with the openhearted smile but also embodied seasoned rocker swag. He jumped around the stage, danced with all his might and showed off his singing prowess. Flowers was dynamic and charming, talking to the crowd in between songs about the beauty of New York City and how this is the “center of the world”. Indeed Flowers proclaimed, “If you can make it here you can make it anywhere!” and sang the classic Frank Sinatra 1981 tune, “New York, New York” revealing the crooner side and winning the hearts of every New Yorker in the audience.

It is undoubtedly Flowers the one who carries on with the charismatic part of the band. With his neat appearance in leather jacket and flawless haircut, he has this look of healthy young handsome American boy with a touch of mischief in his gestures that get both the approval of the parents and the screams from the young ladies. He encouraged the audience to dance and said “Even though it was a Tuesday night at a Killers concert, it’s always a Saturday night!”

The Killers covered a Tommy James & The Shondells song, “I Think We’re Alone Now” and mentioned how Tiffany stole it from Tommy and they (The Killers) were going to “steal it back”. They definitely did it justice, the 80s exquisitely represented.

They played a good portion of their latest album Battle Born with memorable hits like “Runaways” and “Miss Atomic Bomb.”

I wanted with their setlist, with favorites like “Somebody Told Me”, “Read My Mind” and “For Reasons Unknown.”
They ended their first set with the epic crowd sing-along anthem “All These Things That I’ve Done”. Ending with a burst of Killers red and white confetti filling the air and pyrotechnics. Punching the air, stomping feet and undeniable chanting ensued as soon as the bridge, “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a solider” rang out. It was infectious and commanding.

After the encore, The Killers played Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine, which was clearly a crowd pleaser. Brandon Flowers gave an introduction to When You Were Young, saying that after writing this song, it seemed that everything was going to be alright and that the band was heading the right direction. He spoke with almost a rhythm or intonation which wooed the crowd.

Through the explosions and curtains of sparks raining down on the stage, the band delivers the final closing song, Battle Born off their latest album of the same name. It was pulsating, passionate and of epic proportions. Flowers even came out to the fans in the front row and gave them reasons to not ever wash their hands again. I think the one thing The Killers understand is how to give to the audience and fans what they want, it’s a little bit of self indulgence with but a lot of actually reading our minds and sheer magnetism.

For more pics go here.

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