Ten years ago, Las Vegas four-piece The Killers played their first London gig and released their debut single, “Mr Brightside”. A celebration of a decade that has seen them sell more than 20 million albums and play to 90,000 at Wembley Stadium, tonight’s one-off show is, by The Killers’ standards, in an intimate living room – albeit attended by 5,000 fans.
As such, there’s an air of celebration. The screams are deafening, the crowd on their feet on the balcony before the band have even stepped on to the stage. When they do, they launch into “Shot at the Night”, one of two new songs from their best of album, out on Monday. Once the new single is out the way, it is for the most part a greatest hits show.
It may be an intimate venue, but tonight has stadium rock bombast of a much bigger show as the band’s excessive synth-driven rock expands beyond the setting. Their air-punching, chest-thumping frontman Brandon Flowers is smiling, pumped up by the overwhelming adoration, and giving the vocals his all throughout. On the sardonic “Smile Like You Mean It”, his melismatic vocals most ape his hero Morrissey.
Flowers is also masterful at working a crowd. “I know you’ve got your dancing shoes. Am I right?” he roars, before allowing his band members to let rip stadium-sized rock solos, Ronnie Vannucci’s relentless drumming the most impressive.
The highlights are their most anthemic numbers including “Somebody Told Me””, the monster hit “All These Things I’ve Done”, and the melodic synth-fuelled “Human”. By contrast, their cover of Joy Division’s “Shadowplay”, recorded for the 2007 biopic Control, feels heavy and flat. An acoustic version of “Read My Mind” is the only understated moment in a revved-up, laser-filled set.
A trio of best-loved hits – Jenny Was a Friend of Mine”, “When You Were Young” and, of course, “Mr Brightside” – are reserved for the encore. Here’s to another 10 years.