by Daniel Radin
The Killers know exactly what audiences want from them these days, and they seemed perfectly happy to oblige.
The rockers rolled into the new Moody Center on Friday night with all the usual Vegas pomp and circumstance that they’ve delivered to their fans for the last 2 decades. While the stage moves haven’t evolved much over the years, they proved a deep bag of hits is truly the magic sauce.
The band came out of the gates firing (literally- confetti cannons) to the singalong favorite “When You Were Young.” They further drew the crowd in with “Jenny was a Friend of Mine” and “Smile Like You Mean It.” The sold-out Moody Center ate it up.
Frontman Brandon Flowers was effectively the show, traveling the length of the stage and throwing canned poses when he wasn’t behind his synth. What he lacked in energy he made up for vocally- he didn’t miss a note.
“Covid forced a lot of isolation. Ain’t nobody isolated tonight. This is a super spreader event. We’re spreading peace. We’re spreading love. We’re spreading rock ‘n roll. Come ‘n get it!” he shouted to a roar of agreement.
One of the subtle highlights was the addition of 3 female backing vocalists. They supplemented the core band perfectly on most songs and showed a little more enthusiasm for the performance. The rest of The Killers didn’t interact with one another much (or really even move), but the sound itself was solid.
The band is currently supporting two new albums with an overtly Americana influence, which composed a good chunk of the set. Just as U2 and The Rolling Stones went through their middle America phases, The Killers are in the midst of their own unplugged moment. It was surprising, though, that recent radio song “Quiet Town” didn’t make the setlist.
Flowers took his chances to play up to the Texan crowd. He threw in a few pro-UT jabs like “gotta beat Alabama” and covered Willie’s “Always On My Mind” with just an acoustic guitar. He also brought up a young fan to drum on “For Reasons Unknown.”
Opener Johnny Marr was the real treat of the evening, who also joined The Killers for a few tunes in the encore. “We’re pinching ourselves. We get to do 32 nights with Johnny Marr. We’re gonna do one of his songs,” Flowers glowed before The Smiths’ “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby.”
The night concluded, of course, with the infamous “Mr. Brightside.” Between the laser lights and the ten thousand singing voices, the show ended on a high note.
The Killers may be starting to show their age, but they still play all the hits- and they do it as well as they ever have. Clearly, the fans agree. See all our concert photos and reviews on Austin 101 Magazine.
My Own Soul’s Warning
When You Were Young
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
Smile Like You Mean It
Shot at the Night
Running Towards a Place
Human (Vocoder Intro)
Somebody Told Me
Fire in Bone
A Dustland Fairytale
You Were Always on My Mind (Gwen McCrae cover)
Read My Mind
Caution (“Rut” segue)
For Reasons Unknown (Fan named Bryan played the drums)
All These Things That I’ve Done
You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby (The Smiths cover) (w/ Johnny Marr)
Mr. Brightside (w/ Johnny Marr) (50/50)