If I could describe seeing The Killers in concert with just a few words, it would be exhilarating, entertaining, engaging, and enjoyable.
Since the start of the pandemic, the legendary band has been itching to get on stage and share their love for music with fans.
For those who don’t know who The Killers are, they are well known for their classic 2004 hit called “Mr. Brightside” from their first studio album “Hot Fuss.” This is by far the best-selling Killers song, selling over 3.5 million copies. Other popular hits include “Somebody Told Me” and “When You Were Young,” (my personal favorite!) Anyone else love getting to play that banger on guitar hero?
Their tour “Imploding the Mirage” shares the name of their sixth studio album, which was released in August 2020. The tour was originally supposed to be that same year, but we all know the pandemic had other plans, so the tour was pushed back to 2022.
Fast forward to September 9th, fans were finally able to experience the show they’ve been waiting for — packing out the super new Moody Center that just opened this April. Lead singer Brandon Flowers shouts “Oh baby! This is a nice new place. Let’s see what this building’s made of! She’s seen a few gigs but she hasn’t seen The Killers, right?”
The lights go dim, the blue flashing infinity sign starts going off, the crowd stands up and roars, I immediately know it’s going to be an electrifying performance. This is the moment fans have been waiting for. The band members slowly find their place, and just as Flowers bursts on stage like a firecracker, confetti comes shooting out causing more uproar in the crowd.
I get excited when I hear the opening lyrics to “When You Were Young” since I knew this was going to be a fan favorite. Flowers shouts “Oh Austin, we’re alive!” And we most certainly were! He goes on: “COVID forced a lot of uncertainty. A lot of isolation. Take a look around. This is a super spreader event — we’re spreading peace, love, and we’re spreading rock & roll!”
Hands start waving back and forth to “Shot at the Night” and during the chorus, Flowers belts out “Got to beat Alabama!” – referring to the Alabama Crimson Tide vs Texas Longhorn game taking place the following day (Sep. 10th), all while giving a playful chuckle. (I wish I could say we made them proud, but in the end, Texas lost by a measly one point. Such a shame, I know!)
The transition between “Human” and “Somebody Told Me” blended so seamlessly well together, only differentiating the two when hearing the iconic lyrics “Breakin’ my back just to know your name!” I couldn’t help but yell every lyric at the top of my lungs.
“Fire and Bone” plays and after hearing the lyrics “I felt unknown” confetti shoots out with more excitement, marking the show’s middle point. Soon after the word “boy” appears on the screen and I immediately know they’re about to play their newly dropped single. “Boy” marks the first music from the group since the release of their seventh album last year, Pressure Machine. So you can imagine the energy they couldn’t wait to bring. Flowers asks if anyone’s heard it yet. “If you haven’t, pay attention. It’s your new favorite song.”
One of the highlights was when the band played the Gwen McRae cover of “You Were Always on My Mind.” The song sounded amazing live. I could really feel the emotion through the performance.
Flowers starts scanning the audience while waving and pointing. He spots a sign from a fan that says “Killer drummer ready to play!” Flowers invites the fan on stage. “Let me introduce you to Bryan. He made sure to let me know there’s a Y in there.” Drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. hands Bryan his sticks and Bryan impressively plays the drums to “For Reasons Unknown” alongside the rest of the band. This is a moment this fan will never forget. Who else can put on their résumé they got to play on stage with The Killers?
During the encore, “Spaceman” gets the fans jumping up and down full of energy. They invited Johnny Marr back on stage to perform “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby,” who Flowers cited as his musical influence. It was a new experience hearing Flowers’ lead vocals on The Smiths’ tracks.
Before we knew it, the show was coming to a roaring end with the band playing their iconic and most popular song up to date, “Mr. Brightside.” I’ve heard this song so many times, but getting to hear it live in person was phenomenally memorable and made me view it in an entirely new way.
The Killers engaged with fans the entire time up until the very end, really solidifying their strong connection that’s been built over the years. I could genuinely feel the band’s appreciation for their beloved fans. “Thanks for coming tonight,” Flowers says. “We hope you beat Alabama! We’re The Killers. We love you. We couldn’t do this without you!”
All in all, I left smiling thinking how enjoyable and entertaining the show was. The band kept everyone on their toes with their high energy beats. Flowers was right, we did in fact spread peace, love, and rock ‘n’ roll! (If only we could have spread good luck onto the very much needed win against Alabama).
Cover Photo Rob Loud
Leean Vargas is the Highlight Reel newsletter editor at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She is a concert enthusiast who loves traveling, photography, good food, and discovering new hangout spots in her beloved city, Austin, Texas.