THE KILLERS BATTLE IT OUT AT SOUND ACADEMY

| October 15, 2012 | Comments (227)

 

Are we human? I think so. Are we dancer? If we’re talking about The Killers at this past Saturday’s sold out show at Sound Academy, then yes, absolutely. We are all dancer.

 

After a 4 year hiatus that saw members investing their time into solo and side projects, The Killers are back on the road in support of heir new album. It’s called “Battle Born,” and it’s an ambitious record that tries its best to lace all 3 of their previous releases into what could only be best described as thematic, if not full on conceptual. In a set clocking in at just under an hour and a half, The Killers brought us a taste of the new record in a stripped down show as they work out the kinks for their planned 2012-13 arena tour.

 

The show started off with a blue light show, as an excitable crowd pushed it’s way to the stage to catch a glimpse of frontman Brandon Flowers, who has never hid away from the theatrical values of an entertaining rock & roll show. Flowers, alongside band members Dave Keuning (guitar), Mark Stoermer (bass), and Ronnie Vannucci (drums) wasted no time as they kicked off their set with “Runaways,” the first single from the new album. A good call, as the song seemed to have enough radio play to resonate well with everyone in attendance, setting off fist pumping, singalongs, picture and video shooting, and even dance pits in pretty much every conceivable place imaginable.

 

With the crowd already in the palm of their hand, the band jumped right into “Somebody Told Me,” which most people might recognize as the tune that took everybody by surprise in 2004, and also the one that propelled the group into stardom. Having crowd favourites being played so early in the night, it was tough to imagine how the band was going to manage keeping the show going into the thick of the set. It wasn’t until the 4th song that the audience really made itself known, and oddly enough, it was for the lesser known “Spaceman” from 2008′s “Day & Age.”

 

The song set the crowd into a frenzy of even more intense singing and dancing. Looking around the room was a pretty unique thing, as you could see people in virtually every demographic available, and they were all just as into the performance as the person beside them. It’s the type of moment where you say to yourself, “Wow, we’re witnessing something pretty special here.”

 

And hopefully they can keep it going. The band’s future was in limbo for some time, and even with a full world tour coming up, you get the feeling like it’s the type of road trip that’s going to dictate if this is the last time we see a show of theirs at a place like Sound Academy, or the first of many repetitive gigs at the mile long, 3 foot wide concert hall. But if this show is any indication of what that future will be, I’d bet in favour of The Killers.

 

The night was far from done, and even the material from the new album went off without a hitch, save for “Here With Me,” which was the only time I can recall watching people checking out their Facebook and pondering future Instagram filters. Like many of the moments on “Battle Born,” the song seems very reminiscent of Flowers’ solo effort; while sounding like The Killers, it lacks the rawness and extravagance that they’re so well known for, and the emotion behind it just doesn’t add up or come off the way a song like “Mr. Brightside” does. It’s like comparing apples to a bag of oranges labelled “These were supposed to be apples.” It’s worth noting that singer Brandon Flowers performed “Here With Me” pretty well considering the demanding vocal parts. It’s even more of a task since he seemed to have a bit of difficulty staying in key for the duration of the night, so to pull off a song with such sincerity goes a long way.

 

Aside from some disinterest in the new song, the band played incredible and sounded tighter than ever. If anything, the new songs translated even better live than on the recordings. Flowers even belted out an impromptu piano version of “Heart Of A Girl” before ending the set with the dusty gem “Read My Mind,” “Mr. Brightside,” and of course the epic and always interactive “All These Things That I’ve Done.” The latter was one of the best moments of the night, as the capacity crowd shouted the “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier” chant, and Flowers delighted everyone with the campiest band introduction that I’d ever seen.

 

The encore was short and sweet; it gave us “The Rising Tide,” and fan favourite “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine.” To end it all, Brandon vowed that he and the band would play “When You Were Young” as hard as they possible could only under the condition that we would receive it as hard as we could.

 

We gladly obliged.

By: Jesse Parkinson

 

Setlist

Runaways

Somebody Told Me

Smile Like You Mean It

Spaceman

Flesh And Bone

For Reasons Unknown

Bling

Miss Atomic Bomb

Human

Here With Me

A Dustland Fairytale

Heart Of A Girl (Piano short version)

Read My Mind

Mr. Brightside

All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore

The Rising Tide

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine

When You Were Young

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Category: Reviews