Review by Chloe Gynne.

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There is one thought that seems to unite the sold-out crowd gathered in Hyde Park for today’s headliners The Killers: that it is exceptionally hot. The sun is drenching everything at British Summer Time, from the gloriously decorated Great Oak Stage to the dozens of food spots and bars.

As such, Mew, performing in the mid-afternoon heat over at the Barclaycard stage, don’t draw a huge crowd- the vast majority seem to be sunbathing somewhere near the main stage- but they still perform at maximum intensity. The masses miss out; their sound is euphoric and booming, and songs from recent LP ‘Visuals’ go down a treat.

White Lies, headlining the same stage, gather a larger audience, treating them to a career-spanning set, but it’s songs from debut ‘To Lose My Life’ that garner the biggest response. A man wearing a t-shirt sloganized with “I still miss Joy Division” watches on, and it seems he’s in the right place.  Just like The Killers, the band takes post-punk and modernises it to great effect.

Most eyes, however, are on the Great Oak Stage. London reunites with Tears For Fears for the first time in 12 years, who launch straight into ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, anthemic in the summer sun. Perhaps that’s why ‘Mad World’ and an extra-maudlin cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ were a little too gloomy for the crowd. Nonetheless, they redeem themselves with closers ‘Head Over Heels’ and ‘Shout’, which incite a mass sing-along once more.

elbow follow, and they don’t do much to up the pace. While ‘One Day Like This’ and ‘Magnificent’ are heart-warming, the rest is simply predictable. Guy Garvey performs with gusto and talks to the crowd like it’s an old friend, but the slowness of songs such as ‘Lippy Kids’, performed to a huge, sunburnt, partially-drunk audience, will inevitably be lost in the noise of conversation on the ground.

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The Killers take to the stage just as the sun begins to set, washing the band and crowd alike with golden light. It creates a special mood; the fans already knows the lyrics to opener ‘The Man’, despite its recent release, and they sing excitably with Brandon Flowers, who, dressed in a hot-pink jacket, ensures all eyes are on him. With such a huge response for a new track, it goes without saying that the trio of hits- ‘Somebody Told Me’, ‘Spaceman’, and ‘Smile Like You Mean It’- that follow are lapped up by this crowd.

They do not stick to the singles though; the golden circle screams with joy as the Vegas band rolls out a few fan favourites. ‘The River Is Wild’, added to the setlist by their Twitter followers earlier in the day, is a highlight for those down the front, even if the more casual fans at the back quieten briefly. Flowers commands the front rows, getting as close to them as is possible on Hyde Park’s mammoth stage, and for a moment, the night almost feels intimate.

The band, who haven’t played in London for four years, fill the second half of the set with hits. ‘Human’, of course, is sung at such a volume that the crowd drowns out the band. Unfortunately, that isn’t too difficult, considering the sound is much too low for a band that thrives on loudness. While Flowers’ mid-song chat is often silenced by the low volume, his signature voice bellows around the park, as impactful live as it is on record.

Seeing The Killers perform hit single after hit single serves as a reminder of how many they have; ‘Read My Mind’ and ‘For Reasons Unknown’ seem to have been forgotten by the crowd, who gladly reacquaint themselves with their melodies, perfect for a crowd of this size to belt along to.  And, of course, it’s ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’, whose refrain is, by now, a festival tradition, which encourages the loudest vocals. The band, gearing up for a full UK tour later this year, visibly enjoy sharing the moment with this London crowd, leaving the stage with smiles on their faces.

Returning for the encore, they start out with two low-key tracks, teasing a crowd who knows which song will end the night. It simply builds anticipation; by the time ‘When You Were Young’ leads into ‘Mr Brightside’, the audience is ready to grab their friends and sing every word, memorized somewhere between its smash release, and, since then, at every indie club night since 2003. It is, in one word, triumphant.

Fireworks mark the end of a jubilant return to the city, and a high-energy set that proves The Killers to be one of the best bands of the past two decades. On the way out, concert-goers discuss trying to get tickets for the band’s next shows at the O2 Arena in November, which explains the band’s appeal perfectly: they deliver time and time again, promising old anthems, fan favourites, and, most importantly, future hits too.


About Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park
Set in London’s beautiful Royal Park, the event kicked off in 2013 with The Rolling Stones reliving their legendary 1969 gig, plus Bon Jovi, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez and many more packing out the park for memorable summer nights.

Last year, the line-up had something for everyone from indie favorites The Strokes, to Blur, music icons The Who and a pop extravaganza led by a triumphant Taylor Swift. The event also held 3 star packed comedy nights on the main Great Oak Stage, which saw fans settling in with picnics on the Hyde Park grass for an idyllic evening.

Every year, each headliner is joined by a full supporting line up across 5 stages, from major superstars to handpicked developing acts performing for fans from across the UK and the world.

This year’s line up includes:
Phil Collins – Friday June 30th
Green Day – Saturday July 1st
Justin Bieber – Sunday July 2nd
Kings of Leon – Thursday July 6th
The Killers – Saturday July 8th
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Sunday July 9th

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