The Killers - Stockholm Kugelbanan - 9/11/04

16 Nov 2004

sterling stuff from the vegas outfit, who - at present - just can't seem to miss the mark.

The Killers: thank you. For gleefully extracting all the mighty from the early 80's music-scene, and flippantly discarding the atrocious. The boys from Vegas done good; with a million sales to their name, it's all paying off dividends.

The Killers

But, actually, while I'm on the 80's topic (Julian, mate - this is a gig review, not a cultural essay of bygone, embarrassing eras; can this not wait? - Relevant Ed), can I just get something off my chest (Oh, go on then - Pushover Ed)? The current fashion for Mullets, rat-tail haircuts and clothes made from Lycra or velvet is not big and especially not clever. Some things should just be left in the past. So please leave them there. Being twelve in 1982, I didn't have a lot of say in the matter; my mum was my fashion guru and my hairdresser a fashion casualty. But you people have a choice; I suffered for your eventual freedom. Use it wisely.

That feels better. The gig. With one album only in the bag and not many other tracks to spare, we knew this wasn't gonna be a four-hour Springsteen boreathon (hence our attendance). But, surprisingly, rewardingly, 'Mr Brightside' is first out. We know it's going to be 'one of those'. Sheepish frontman Brandon Flowers strides around the stage like a Shakespearean actor, reciting his lines, all hand-gestures and ponderous stares. He's a performer, and so should he be, coming from Las Vegas, the home of cabaret (still, no 'Copa Cabana').

The ensuing efforts are basically the album on shuffle with UK b-sides 'Change Your Mind' and 'Under The Gun' added for effective, trainspotter measure. Drummer, or 'student of classical percussion', Ronnie Vannucci, is the real drive behind the band, powering out the rhythms like he has something personal against his drumkit. The sound is fantastic. Bizarrely to such displays of prowess, there's not much conversation between songs; Mr Flowers constantly seems he has a lot to say, but just can't get the words out.

The final opus 'All These Things That I Have Done' is the standout; we don't want it to end. Fittingly, it has the potential to prove one of those forgivably indulgent, ten-minute epics live, an 'I Am The Resurrection' for the '00s. When The Killers play that song as the finale in ten years, it really will bear even more potency.

Unorthodox at this point of prose - but a quick word of praise for support band Ambulance Ltd, who warmed everyone up wonderfully; if they're playing near you any time soon, feign an injury and hop inside.

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