Are We Killers Or Are We Brandon?

The Killers – Spark Arena  April 20, 2018

The Killers, or at least two of them, rocked Auckland’s Spark Arena on Friday night, reminding the nearly-sold out crowd what a killer live act they are.

As frontman Brandon Flowers observed, it had been nine years since he and the band had last performed in Auckland. A lot has changed in that time, with guitarist Dave Keuning and bass player Mark Stoermer opting out of this tour while ostensibly still members of the band.

Which begs the question, “Is this really The Killers?”

The answer is…”Who cares!” because Flowers, drummer Ronnie Vannucci and the 7 or 8 other musicians on stage put on a show that had the crowd standing and singing along from beginning to end.

The beginning began, to many fans’ surprise, with one of their biggest hits. Mr. Brightside. Flowers and co. delivered a rousing version of the beloved tune with the house lights left on, raising the excitement level that much more.

It really was the Brandon Flowers show as the slickly-dressed and coiffed frontman posed, preened and pranced across the stage.

Lefty lead guitarist Taylor Milne was a welcome addition as were the three backing vocalists.

Hits such as Somebody Told Me and Human were sprinkled liberally throughout the 21-song setlist, leaving one to wonder what they pull out for the encore.

Pulling an audience member up on stage to play with the band has become something of a common shtick…Green Day did it last year…but I must say, it was fun to watch 15-year-old Amy Claire hold her own behind the drums during For Reasons Unknown.

Playing Don’t Dream It’s Over is a little less tolerable…we know it’s a great song, and we’re glad you think so too, but maybe try to find something a little less obvious next time….I’d love to hear Brandon Flowers sing Jesus I Was Evil.

But that’s probably not going to happen, and it’s a minor quibble anyway.

By the time they got to the encore, Flowers had gone full Elvis, sporting a silver lame suit and striking poses The King surely would be proud of. And I must say, despite claiming jet lag, the man was in great voice and seemed full of energy.

And what did that encore consist of?

An evangelic, sanctified reading of The Calling, from latest album Wonderful Wonderful, followed by the more worldly Just Another Girl and finally, a crowd-pleasing When We Were Young.

Viva Las Vegas!

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Rob Loud:

The Killers set list:

  1. Brightside
  2. Spaceman
  3. Somebody Told Me
  4. The Way It Was
  5. Shot At The Night
  6. Run For Cover
  7. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
  8. Smile Like You Mean It
  9. For Reasons Unknown
  10. The Man
  11. Human
  12. Rut
  13. Tyson vs. Douglas
  14. A Dustland Fairytale
  15. Don’t Dream It’s Over
  16. Runaways
  17. Read My Mind
  18. All These Things That I’ve Done
  19. The Calling
  20. Just Another Girl
  21. When We Were Young