The Killers brought a fun-filled night to the Masonic Temple in Detroit on Monday January 15th.
To the packed venue’s delight, the band made sure to spotlight tracks from their whole discography.
Musically opening the night was tremendous act, Alex Cameron.
As soon as the first saxophone note sounded from Roy Molloy, the instrument was greeted with resonant cheers from the crowd. With a delightful presence, complete with guitar (both acoustic and electric), drums, keys, saxophone, and vocals, the band started off the night with spirit and attitude.
Alex Cameron showed off some impressive fluid dance moves, whilst dressed in a sleek dark button up shirt and dark jeans. Paired with a get down sound, the ensemble presented some beautiful harmonies.
In between songs, Alex Cameron addressed the crowd with, “It’s nice to be here for you all with the fantastic band, The Killers! They more or less plucked us from obscurity and gifted us with an audience.”
The band filled their set with jams that were slower love songs, as well as more upbeat danceable tunes. Their vibe made a great pairing to The Killers’ current feel.
Always a welcome occurance, it was lovely to see a band so grateful for their well-deserved opening spot.
Right after 9 PM, the venue was just about filled to capacity with standing room only.
With a loud wave of applause, the entire temple rose to its feet to welcome The Killers to the stage.
The band started off the night with “Run For Cover”, one of the tremendous singles from their latest album. “Wonderful Wonderful”.
Lead singer, Brandon Flowers was dressed in a black and gold embellished jacket, standing on amps and feeding off the crowd’s energy right off the bat.
Next, The Killers started into “Enterlude”, an in between track from their second album, “Sam’s Town”. For 40-something seconds, Flowers was illuminated with a single spotlight and the keys of piano, as his voice shined equally as bright. As is true on the album, the “Enterlude” track effortlessly made its way into “When You Were Young”. The crowd sang along, a theme that was more than prevalent throughout the entire evening.
On this tour, the band’s original guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer are absent, but Ted Sablay displayed his skills beautifully during the track’s guitar shredding solo. After which, Flowers exclaimed “SING IT”, and the audience did not disappoint.
After the song ended, he greeted the crowd with, “WE ARE THE KILLERS!”
The gents continued with smash hit, “Somebody Told Me”. Brandon Flowers keyboard was illuminated behind a big male symbol, as backup gal singers were lit up behind the symbol for female.
Next up, danceable “Spaceman” began under purple lights. At one musical break point, Brandon Flowers dropped to his knees clapping, and got the crowd to put their hands together as well.
Afterwards, the band started into “The Way It Was” from 2012’s album, “Battle Born”
“If I go on with you by my side, can it be the way it was?”
The crowd echoed back each line. Flowers even changed a line to “…and I’m coming out from Detroit Rock City tonight”.
A couple of songs on during “Reasons Unknown”, the lead gentleman picked up a black bass guitar. He even gave a shout out to drummer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr. as he pounded out a terrific drum spotlight.
After the song ended, Flowers asked the crowd, “Who’s got gas in the tank? Who’s got money in the bank? Who’s got skin in the game?”
“The Man” started, as pink confetti exploded into the air. Neon cowboys were projected onto the back screen, as a dance party ensued. Around mid-song, Flowers slicked back his hair, and the crowd went wild.
Up next was another track from the band’s latest album, a song entitled “Rut”. The backing vocalists started off the vulnerable jam beautifully.
The audience kept on cheering after the song’s conclusion.
Flowers expressed, “It’s good to be here in Detroit!”
He went on to tell a story of longing for more in Utah in 1996.
“I’m still yearning, I’m still touring. Anyway, this song is called ‘The River Is Wild'”.
Next up he asked, “You know this one? It’s called ‘Runaway’!”
A desert theme projected on the backdrop, as had been the case for most of the concert in both red and black hues.
“Put your hands up!” Flowers yelled to the crowd, and carried them through the final chorus.
“Read My Mind” followed, another excellent song from “Sam’s Town”.
Flowers gave a shout out to their touring guitarist, “Ladies and gentleman, on guitar tonight, Ted Sablay!”
He absolutely shined during the song’s guitar solo.
To close out, the band played, “All These Things That I’ve Done”. The audience sang along, and echoed back, “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” to Brandon Flowers’ outstretched hands. Everyone cheered as red, white and blue confetti popped into the air. With a wave and a bow, the band exited stage left.
Without a moment of silence, many in the crowd illuminted their phone’s flashlights, beckoning The Killers back to the stage while chanting, “ONE MORE SONG!” and “EN-CORE, EN-CORE!”
The band reemerged to a deafening cheer to play “Bling”. A disco ball projected on the screen all the while.
The lights dimmed, and all that could be heard was the lead vocalist’s distorted voice singing of traveling through space. “Are we human?”, and with that, the crowd cheered as they recognized the forthcoming track.
Last but certainly not least, The Killers closed out the night with monster song, “Mr. Brightside”.
Flowers blew a two-handed kiss into the crowd as the audience independently sang the first chorus all the way through.
The lights came on entirely as everyone danced their hearts out and sang along for “Mr. Brightside”‘s duration.
The band made sure to wave and bow again, as Ronnie Vannucci Jr. kept drumming. He walked up to a microphone and yelled, “DETROIT!” throwing drumsticks into the excited crowd.
The Killers recently announced headlining spots at Bonnaroo, Boston Calling, and Bottlerock festivals, and will be continuing this wonderful tour worldwide throughout the year.
1. Run For Cover
3. When You Were Young
4. Somebody Told Me
6. The Way It Was
7. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
8. Smile Like You Mean It
9. Reasons Unknown
10. The Man
12. The River Is Wild
14. Read My Mind
15. All These Things That I’ve Done
18. Mr. Brightside
Concert review by Tiffany Cuthrell, terrific photos by Rob Loud
The Killers discography has taken us on a journey from the outside-in narratives of “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me”, to their Vegas nod western vibes of “Sam’s Town” (an album whose darkness and mystery carried me through high school!), and even into outer space with “Day & Age”.
My first thought upon starting to play “Wonderful Wonderful” was, “Wait, is this someone blowing through THAT shell?” The mystery was quickly quelled as the title track progressed into a catchy synth, fantastical bassline, and brash rhythm.
Released on Friday September 22nd, the band’s fifth studio album is most assuredly a departure from any of their previous records’ sound, although one that is still Killers to its core. It is fresh, welcome, experimental, and bold.
“Wonderful Wonderful” brings, at times, a self-awareness and cockiness that us listeners haven’t quite heard before from these Vegas gents…. but since they’ve been making us dance, think, and rock since 2001, this type of reflective is forgiven. Besides, such prowess feels more as if the band is in on the joke they are telling, than genuinely full of themselves.
Their lead single, “I’m The Man” has been getting massive radio airplay since its June release.
The song ironically has the unique capability to be empowering and reductive at the same time, lending commentary to a gentleman who’s got it all (a cash register ka-chings in the background). The song carries a Bee Gees-esque stroll throughout, while touching on some Scissor Sisters-jived grooves in a short breakdown.
One of the most touching songs on the album is the slower tempo, “Rut”. Lead singer Brandon Flowers sings, “Don’t give up on me, cause I’m just in a rut. I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up”. Next on the album is equally motivational “Life To Come”. “I didn’t see this coming, I admit it, but if you think I’ll buckle, forget it.” “Run For Cover” and the track to follow, “Tyson Vs. Douglas” are catchy, danceable, and have the energy of a Springsteen anthem, perfect for driving down the highway.
The album closes out its brand new songs with the grounding jam, “Money On Straight”. The track carries through with an acoustic guitar flow reminiscent of Portugal. The Man, and the occasional Keane-feeling synth (cue Perfect Symmetry’s “Better Than This”).
The entire album seems as though it could have been a massive smash in the 70’s or 80’s, while still housing a modern feel. Despite some Arcade Fire depth, Doors type of vocal echo, and undeniable glam, it is true Killers, through and through.
The Killers have announced a gigantic tour to correspond with the album’s release, taking them from across the United States, into Europe, New Zealand, Australia,
The tour will only have half of the original Killers, sans guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer, which is only a change for the live shows.
The band has expressed their sincerest wishes that fans will not be let down with the tour lineup that is to come, as this album was made straight from the heart.
The Killers will make a stop at Detroit’s Masonic Temple on January 15th of next year.
1. “Wonderful Wonderful”
2. “The Man”
4. “Life to Come”
5. “Run for Cover”
6. “Tyson vs Douglas”
7. “Some Kind of Love”
8. “Out of My Mind”
9. “The Calling”
10. “Have All the Songs Been Written?”
Review by Tiffany Cuthrell, header photo by Erik Weiss