The Killers at UBC Thunderbird Arena

Sometimes it’s just fun to rock out, and on Friday night The Killers did just that. Frontman Brandon Flowers certainly brought the energy that a rock singer needs to, and right from the get-go of Human he pandered to the crowd and got us involved. While I’m quite aware he dipped into the well of oft used techniques, he did it with energy, flair and was just plain up there given’r – so you had to play along. While the sound certainly left something to be desired, this was no surprise, as the new arena at UBC was likely not built for its acoustics. Particularly unfortunate was Flowers’ own sound. It was obvious he could belt out intense vocal energy to match his bounding and leaping about the stage, but the reverberation on some songs did him no justice. The crowd, myself included, were so pumped up on the tacky rock ‘n roll set stage, blinding lights, and the tight rhythm supplied by the rest of the band, that we were more than willing to help him out. It was cool to see some back-up instruments involved, including a saxophone that I would have liked to have heard more from. The percussion and guitars were all strong. One could tell that the overall volume had to be kept down a bit or the sound would have been horrendous, but this only exposed how on the group is with their big beats and big swings. It was also neat to see a few parents – who no doubt hark back to the 80s music that partly influences The Killers – out with their kids at this concert.

I was disappointed with Smile Like You Mean It, one of my favourite Killers songs. Flowers played the piano and the band went for a mellow rendition – which can suit this song at times – but they just didn’t seem to nail it on this night. They did nail pretty much everything else though, including hitting it into overdrive following Smile. Personal favourites on the night included Spaceman, and Losing Touch from their most recent album, as well as All These Things That I’ve Done. This nearly quintessential Killers’ tune summed up the night with the stage screen and lights working overtime, everyone jumping and singing along, and then the crowd being the ones to lead Flowers into the infamous “I’ve got soul…” section of the song. To top it off, confetti cannons blasted out with the finish. Honourable mentions go to their Joy Division cover: Shadowplay, as well as When You Were Young, which had them finishing with just as much energy as they started, and accompanied by sparks streaming from the backdrop. Confetti, sparks, lights, crowd pandering, It was all over the top, yet it was fun. Going to a rock show, checking it all at the door, singing along, having fun – this is a good thing. Thanks to M. Rock on!!!

“The star maker says, ‘It ain’t so bad’
The dream maker’s gonna make you mad
The spaceman says, ‘Everybody look down,
It’s all in your mind'” – Spaceman

Please let me know if you think there should be any set-list corrections

The Killers – April 24, 2009 at UBC Thunderbird Arena
1. Human
2. This is Your Life
3. Somebody Told Me
4. For Reasons Unknown
5. Joy Ride
6. I Can’t Stay
7. Bling (Confession Of A King)
8. Shadowplay [cover: Joy Division]
9. Smile Like You Mean It
10. Spaceman
11. Losing Touch
12. Dustland Fairytale
13. Sam’s Town
14. Read My Mind
15. Mr. Brightside
16. All These Things That I’ve Done
17. Bones
18. Jenny Was A Friend of Mine
19. When You Were Young


3 thoughts on “The Killers at UBC Thunderbird Arena

  1. After a much closer listen, and more sifting through the lyric databases on the ol’ interweb, I made the change to “star”. It’s interesting to note that “song”, and “storm”, also appear regularly one lyric websites. Thanks Shannon. Always open to feedback.

  2. Pingback: many deaths of a penguin Mr. brightside killers remix | SmarterNights

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