The Killers – Spark Arena/Town Hall: Nov 21, 2022

The Killers rolled into town yesterday and played not one, but two shows, in two separate venues. Of course The 13th Floor attended both!

I gotta say, it was quite a good night for music lovers in New Zealand…especially for a Monday night. Over at The Powerstation, Peter Hook was reliving his glory years with his current band, The Light while down in Christchurch Jack White was assembling his Seven Man Army for a riff-filled night at the Town Hall.

Meanwhile, a little band from Las Vegas called The Killers put one two shows in Auckland, one in front of 12,000 fans at the Spark Arena, the other at the more “intimate” Auckland Town Hall.

Seeing one headlining band twice in the same night at two different venues may be a first, even for this veteran of over 50 years of gig-going.

Spark Arena

Spark Arena was filling up nicely as the sonorous voice of Jack Ladder got the night underway. Aided by guitarist/knob-twiddler Billy Fishon, Ladder opened with I Can’t Drink The Water, from the Dreamlanders’ 2021 album, Hijack!

So, where were the Dreamlanders?

“I didn’t invite them”

He did bring along a clutch of new songs including a tune called Demons in which he name-checked various late musical artists from Bowie and Cohen to Amy and Whitney.

Speaking of Leonard, Ladder conjured up vision of Cohen and Cave on I’m Melting, while the synthy Lombard Street made this new batch of songs sound very promising indeed.

Ok, on to the main event.

The arena was packed and at about 9pm a low hum could be heard emanating from the stage. Finally the band appeared…there are many Killers these days, including original guitarist Dave Keuning, who is back to playing live shows once more (bassist Mark Stoermer is still AWOL, but, to be honest, no one seemed to notice as front man Brandon Flowers took the stage and never gave it back.

Photo © 2022 Chris Phelps
Imploding the Mirage Tour 2022
Spark Arena – Auckland, New Zealand

Flowers may very well be rock’s top showman these days (at least for the under 50 crowd). He truly commands the stage…posing, prancing and pontificating.

We got the “standard” set, which is excellent…plenty of old favourites (When You Were Young, Human) mixed with newer tunes like opener My Own Soul’s Warning and the unreleased Boy.

The three female backing vocalists added the required gospel vibe and touring guitarist Ted Sably (the lefty) did much of the heavy lifting on the fretboard.

Oh and Wellington drummer Taylor Johnston got another chance to show off his stuff (he did the same in 2018) by pummelling the beJesus out of Ronnie’s kit during For Reasons Unknown.

But this is Brandon Flowers’ show and he proves once again to be a relentlessly charming front man.

He also has energy to spare.

Auckland Town Hall

After the band’s almost two-hour set, he and the crew hi-tailed it over the Queen Street where another full house waiting for them. Sure, the Auckland Town Hall may have a much lower capacity, but no one seemed to tell The Killers as their version of an “intimate” show is very, very similar to the arena rock they had just played two hours.

Photo © 2022 Chris Phelps
Imploding the Mirage Tour 2022
Town Hall – Auckland, New Zealand

So, at about 12:30am…here we go again, opening, appropriately with Midnight Show and then taking a whack at Joy Division’s Shadowplay, begging the question…’where was Hooky?’

If he was there, I didn’t see him, possible because I, and everyone else was caught up in the excitement of being so close to this arena rocking band.

Sure, they played Human, Mr. Brightside and When You Were Young…I mean, they had to, didn’t they?

But the rest of the 58 minute set featured nuggets like Bling (Confessions Of A King) and Bones, both from my personal fave Killers album, Sam’s Town.

It felt like it could have gone on all night.

By 1:30am we were spilling out into the street, faces beaming from what we just experienced.

Any complaints?

Well, I didn’t appreciate the cover of This Charming Man (not a Smiths/Morrissey fan) and I really wanted to hear Don’t Shoot Me Santa! Tis the season, after all.

Anyway, rock and roll was the winner on the night and The Killers proved that they are a world class stadium act no matter what the size of the venue.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery:

The Killers at Spark Arena:


The Killers at Auckland Town Hall:

Spark Arena Setlist:

  1. My Own Soul’s Warning
  2. Enterlude
  3. When You Were Young
  4. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
  5. Smile Like You Mean It
  6. Shot At The Night
  7. Running Towards A Place
  8. Human
  9. Spaceman
  10. Somebody Told Me
  11. Boy
  12. A Dustland Fairytale
  13. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
  14. Runaways
  15. Read My Mind
  16. Dying Breed
  17. Rut/Caution
  18. For Reasons Unknown
  19. All These Things That I’ve Done
  20. The Man
  21. This Charming Man
  22. Brightside


Auckland Town Hall setlist:

  1. Midnight Show
  2. Shadowplay
  3. Human
  4. Bling (Confession Of A King)
  5. Cody
  6. Pressure Machine
  7. This River Is Wild
  8. Bones
  9. The Way It Was
  10. Run For Cover
  11. From Here On Out
  12. Brightside
  13. When You Were Young