After five years away, The Killers return to Liverpool to set it alight with a wonderful wonderful show at the Echo Arena, with Alex Cameron.
The Killers are one of the greatest bands of the 21st century, but what makes them still relevant, if they are?
Tonight, the Las Vegas big-shots The Killers make their long awaited return to Liverpool with an absolutely packed show at the Echo Arena.
However, long before Flowers and co. hit the stage, we’re graced to a forty-five minute set by Alex Cameron, the Aussie songwriter.
Cameron has played here before, notably, yet there’s a string of unawareness in the air when it comes to people understanding who he is. By the end of his set, we’re sure they’ll buy the record.
Cameron plays pretty much the lot of his Secretly Canadian debut album Jumping The Shark, along with his band and musical partner Roy Malloy. It’s an impressive jaunt for the young songwriter, and we’re quite sure he’ll be back at this venue one day.
After the set, it brings to the conclusion that Brandon Flowers’ comments earlier this year about new bands not being good enough, seem very off. We assume he’s eaten those words by having Cameron on tour.
When the lights go down, the curtain drops, The Killers arrive. Opening with “Wonderful Wonderful“, a slowed starting number shows the band’s prowess for tonight, piecing together Wonderful Wonderful tracks and greatest hits.
The Killers are in true form, with 14 sold out arena shows in the UK, their material is well rehearsed and changes every show but for us, the delightful imagery sticks out. The band’s screens are full of life and detail with their rustic Navada vibe still in-tact, even a brilliant water tower stands aside the band wearing the word “Liverpool”.
The band pauses before – bang – confetti and streamers shoot wildly from the stage as the band drives into their latest hit “The Man”.
In single form, “The Man” is a confiendent, self-centred tune, yet live it transforms into a celebratory, sarcastic one. The crowd is alive as we dive into classic “Somebody Told Me“, a beloved sing-a-long anthem.
The band keeps trucking, with “Run For Cover“, “Smile Like You Mean It” and “For Reason Unknown” make appearances. The band terrifically throws in their usual cover of Joy Division’s “Shadowplay“.
“Shadowplay” is an important song to play, for The Killers are named due to a New Order video, but it does show that the band doesn’t have to pile the hits up.
However, at this point, the casual fans, are getting a little fatigued. Flowers has slowed down, but throws it out the window a few songs later when “Human” rises.
Flowers talks about their acclaimed sophomore album Sam’s Town which celebrated ten years just last year, before walking into hidden gem “This River is Wild” and backing it up with “A Dustland Fairytale“, which is ended with a tribute to our city’s lost songwriter Black with an excerpt of “Wonderful Life“.
We’re in the band’s final steps tonight, as they end their set with “Read My Mind” and the strong “All These Things I’ve Done“.
The lights fade. The band leaves. If they left it like this, we’d be grateful for what they’ve given, sixteen solid tracks of both new and old nature and an all-out show.
However they return, Flowers now out of his Sin City attire and into a golden state. “The Calling” and “Shot of The Night” start their four-track encore, before the band once again delivers it all.
“When You Were Young” is a timeless anthem, one they could gladly end on any day of the week, the crowd is in pure admiration before their final pop.
Cue “Mr. Brightside“, the magnum opus of The Killers’ 13-year career and the song that will always get you moving.
Whether you like them or not, The Killers are back and are on mighty form. They’re still relevant and their audience is still there, what more would they want?
While unlikely, with very possible Reading & Leeds headline sets in play for 2018, we hope Flowers & co. won’t stay away for long.
Words by Jack Cinnamond, photography by Rob Loud.