Concert Review with PHOTOS: The Killers


By Wal Reid

Artist: The Killers 

Date / Venue: Friday April 20th, 2018 - Spark Arena, Auckland

What’s in a name? Brandon or Brendon? Have to admit my favourite concert last year was Panic At The Disco, and while Las Vegas band The Killers have a similar charismatic vibe, singer Brandon Flowers bears a striking resemblance to the formentioned group’s vocalist. Especially on the encore set at the end, donning his gold sparkly suit on When We Were Young, seems Mr Flowers & Mr Urie share the same taste in ‘blingy’ costume rental stores.

Going straight for the jugular, the band wasted no time as they hit their stride on Mr BrightsideI don’t think anyone would’ve picked this pearler as first off the rank. I for one would’ve thought it was an encore set fave, but here it was, first up, as he crowd got whiff of the opening guitar riff it went from ‘good’ to ‘bloody-wicked’.

The whole night the band never let up. It’s hard to believe the band hadn’t been back for nine years, as Flowers quipped “We’ve all grown up now”.  It seems they never left as their hit songs emitted a thunderous sound from the stage.  It was a festive reunion as Flowers & Co rocked the Spark Arena, the boisterous Auckland crowd would’ve put Labour Party Camp revellers to shame, as they vocally and physically cajoled the band who after flying across the Pacific hardly looked like running out of steam.

Name any of their hit songs (except Bones) and it would be highly likely that it was played that night. The sing-a-long to All The Things That I’ve Done or the elaborate crowd plant of young “Amy from Auckland” did a stellar job playing the drums (while drummer Ronnie Vannuci stepped down on guitar) on For Reasons Unknown (who is that kid?) to the unlikely choice of Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over was given the Killer’s treatment. It wasn’t without its technical difficulties as guitarist Ted Sablay restarted the song in a different key before Flowers had the whole crowd singing the Kiwi classic.  He had little trouble singing the next number The Man as he joked that “He had this” before asking the crowd, “Who’s the Man?”.

The Killers impressed, sonically and presence wise.  There’s a genuineness and invigoration about Flowers candour on stage that is hard to ignore. A faultless vocal performance that was anything but mechanical, the band equally on par with more heart required made tonight’s performance an event to remember.  It would be hard to see a better band live, as the group brought to us “By way of fabulous Las Vegas” enthralled, it was like a catch up between old friends, and we were glad to see them. Drummer Ronnie’s request to “stay here” after offering up drum sticks to the crowd, “Is that how it works?” was met with little resistance from the crowd.  Roto-Vegas doesn’t quite have the same gleam but yeah, sure, stay as long as you like.