The Killers, Scala, London
Friday 24 June 2011
It's a treat to see a multi platinum-selling band in such a small venue. Tonight, the intimacy of the Scala's modest space is magnified by the presence of the world-famous musicians who take to the stage with a smile.
"Somebody Told Me" with its intense paranoia and wickedly catchy lyrics kicks things off. There's an immediate energy and the four-piece band carry it through for two hours, playing tracks from their 2004 debut album, Hot Fuss, Sam's Town, Sawdust and Day & Age.
It is slightly audacious to compare Brandon Flowers to Freddie Mercury but it's the comparison that comes to mind as the Las Vegas frontman bounds around with an energy that flows over the stage, filling every corner; he simmers with charisma from his toes to the top of his crew cut.
The audience are extremely receptive, chanting the lyric "I got soul but I'm not a soldier" before even hearing the melody. The noise builds into an explosion as Flowers takes over, singing the chorus with such a ferocity it's hard to tear your eyes from him.
What creates such vibrancy in the music is careful craftsmanship; layers of electric rock crescendo into roof-raising anthems, the melodies wrapped around fabulously original lyrics.
Flowers is engaged with his audience throughout the entire performance, jumping from the microphone to a keyboard embossed with a large bright "K".
Slower tracks such as "Smile Like You Mean It" and 'All These Things That I've Done", work well against the fast-paced tone of the performance, illustrating the singer's versatility with voices dipping to lower octaves, Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer's backing vocals doing the same, giving a blues edge .
"A Dustland Fairy Tale" slips into a particularly elegant cover of Andy Williams's "Moon River", Flowers becoming almost hypnotic as the audience sway softly.
And then the floors vibrate as the encore brings the eagerly awaited "Mr. Brightside", a true original that catapulted the band to fame in 2003. The Killers make eccentric accessible, and, not only that, they make it cool.
Flowers thanks the crowd for the fact "we're still around" but in truth, there is nowhere else this band could be but on the stage.
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