Vicky Pea finally catches the band that has inexplicably eluded her since the glorious summer of ’04.
“I never took you for a Killers fan?” is a phrase I’ve been on the end of more than once.
It’s baffling isn’t it? It usually comes out of the mouth of a Killers fan too, so it’s not in detriment to the band or their quality, just surprise that I specifically would be a fan. Maybe running a music ‘blog’ and seriously considering buying a tape deck gives some sort of snobbish impression (ahem) that I’d be opposed to enjoying the music of one of the 21st century’s all time biggest bands.
Au contraire dear readers. You see, I was 15 when Hot Fuss came out and soundtracked both the school year and the summer along with the likes of Aha Shake Heartbreak and Funeral. It was the height of cool and more importantly you were cool if you digged it, clearly something I can no longer claim to be having just used the term ‘digged it’ at the age of 28. A summer like that engraves itself onto you forever. It’s the perfect age to be influenced and moulded, to love things more that your’ll ever love anything ever again and no matter how your tastes change as the years progress, it’s almost impossible to erase the fondness you once felt for those songs, even if you now claim to know better.
Somewhere along the way, probably about the same time the Kings Of Leon broke my heart with Because of The Times and I became undeniably uncool, The Killers were resigned to the occasional nice iPod shuffle surprise, an inclusion on late night inebriated YouTube binges or the inevitable moment someone’s had a bit too much at a wedding.
Tonight they return from my peripherals and to the Echo Arena. Unlike most touring acts who play either Manchester or Liverpool, with Manchester winning out more often than not, The Killers, after selling out the Manchester Arena, added an additional date resulting in tonight’s show.
It’s not the first time it has happened and it never fails to worry us when it does. This is largely due to the fact Liverpool gig goers are quite used to nipping up the road to Manchester for the big shows by now and so the first sold out show will have no doubt attracted a large number from Liverpool in the first place. Thankfully though it seems they’ve pulled it off, a confident gesture that we wish more bands would take in booking both neighbouring cities.
Another welcomed gesture awaited us. A stage show! God damn we love a stage show. Tonight The Killers have brought Vegas to the banks of the Mersey. Neon signs protrude from the stage and a large water-tower is erected, adorned with Liverpool across the side of it, soon to be replaced with Newcastle as the tour returns to the road tomorrow. It’s big budget and high quality, exactly what you’d expect from them and makes an arena show feel almost like a stadium one.
Naturally the night pulled heavily on 2017’s release Wonderful Wonderful, their first album in five years not accounting for solo projects. Ensuring the crowd were under no illusions that Wonderful Wonderful would be at the centre of proceedings it’s the title track first out of the gate.
There’s no shortage of streamers and confetti on hand and even less care given to rationing them as the first number ends with an explosion, ushering in The Man before the crowd get their first anthem of the night in Somebody Told Me.
On the whole we really dug the setlist. It was unashamedly promotional of the new album and unbashfully proud of throwing in a number of their biggest hits including Smile Like You Mean It, Human and All These Things I’ve Done. Wonderful Wonderful was at the centre of tonight, but the hits were at its heart.
There are no prizes for guessing what they ended their four song encore on. Harking back to that glorious summer of ’04 I leave wondering if I’ll ever experience a track as monumentally huge as Mr Brightside ever again. Probably not.
Photos by Rob Loud