Manchester Arena 13th November 2017
Brandon Flowers is a strange beast, he may be the enigmatic front man of a massive rock band but there isn’t a smell of seediness or scandal about him. He’s sexy without any attempt to be and comes across as a decent chap. Not very rock and roll I grant you but on Monday night at Manchester Arena, he had full control of a crowd, lapping up every syllable he uttered.
The Killers have been on the scene long enough to know how to work a crowd and with the promotion for their fifth studio album Wonderful Wonderful, they have come out fighting. I’ve seen the band a few times before, once an ill-fated concert where Flowers’ voice packed in and we trudged home under a cloud of desolation and then the amazing rescheduled gig where they gave us every hit in their arsenal.
This tour though seems to have a massive budget. The staging is incredible with video screens and lighting turning every song into an experience. In a nod to their Nevada desert roots, a water tower sat to the left, with a poignant I Love Manchester banner which became the symbol of defiance after the bombing earlier this year.
But at the end of the day it’s all about the music and although only two members of the four piece band were on the road this time, the sound was faultless.
Flowers, always the showman, hit the ground slowly, giving us the new album title track but it wasn’t until the new anthem The Man lit up the arena in pink confetti that we were off. In full command of the setlist which built us up and dropped us down before building us back up again, Flowers belted out hit after hit including Spaceman, Human, Smile Like You Mean It and For Reasons Unknown intermingled with new album tracks from, for me, their best album since Sam’s Town.
Unsurprisingly Flowers spoke a little about the horror that happened just feet from where we stood earlier this year but it wasn’t clichéd or over the top and he dedicated “Be Still” to the victims. It was a beautiful sight as the arena lit up with phone torches and everyone sang as one.
The encore was incredible as Flowers came back complete in gold lame suit and shades like some Presley-style Preacher for new song The Calling which needs to be a single and enter the Killers Hall of Fame. A quick trip through classics Believe me Natalie and When You Were Young and we hit the finale to end all finale’s, Mr Brightside. It’s incredible to see an arena bouncing and singing in unison but that’s what we did, before they disappeared and it was over.
I may be a major fan but I honestly cannot fault the gig. On the train home everyone was smiling and strangers were talking to strangers about their favourite songs, a sign that The Killers mission was accomplished.