The Killers + Alex Cameron at Manchester Arena, UK – 13th November 2017

Posted by Gig Junkies on Monday Nov 13, 2017 Under Rock

Review by Nic Jones Gig Photos courtesy of Rob Loud

Back with a triumphant new album, a return to form, The Killers are on tour and it’s the hottest ticket in town. It may be a cold Monday night in Manchester, but the blues are away as a sold out crowd gathers at the Manchester Arena to see The Killers, supported by Alex Cameron

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The Arena is packed early on; this is a gig people have been waiting a while for and Monday night or not, Manchester is ready to party. Alex Cameron, Australian singer-songwriter, kicks off the night with a slick set that tunes into the sound and style of music the audience are here to see. His set is made up of a number of catchy and memorable melodies, outlining his potential as a future hitmaker and warming up the crowd nicely ahead of the main event.

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The sound of the crowd is deafening as The Killers take to the stage. THIS is rock and roll. For an act like The Killers, who have been around since 2001, this new era in their musical journey is about creating something more than nostalgia. Whilst many will be in the Arena to see them because of their first two albums, Wonderful Wonderful has provided them with an energetic new platform to prove their relevancy and gain a new generation of fans.

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They revel in their new material, bringing Las Vegas on tour with them. Second song in the set ‘The Man’ has an irresistible swagger, which seems completely unique to a band from Vegas. Bright, bold light displays and a front man sauntering around with the confidence of Elvis make for an incredible combination. It’s an electrifying start which is only cemented with the introduction of ‘Somebody Told Me’. It’s at this point the Arena reaches fever-pitch and remains that way for a full hour and a half.

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Other new songs; ‘Rut’, ‘Tyson vs. Douglas’ and ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ fit seamlessly alongside the older tunes. ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, ‘Read My Mind’ and ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ still sound fresh, all these years later in the way that only classic records can. They transcend time because they are stomping hits, designed to appeal to people at all ages across different decades.

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Undoubtedly there is far more to The Killers than Brandon Flowers, however when he is on stage, it’s hard to see anyone else. Flowers has a stage presence beyond any normal pop star. His confidence and on-stage swagger seem to stem from natural confidence and belief, and of course years in the music industry. But it never seems fake or calculated. Even when, in the encore, he reappears on stage in a gold suit, it seems like something that would be completely natural to a showman like Flowers. But he doesn’t reserve all the fun for himself. Drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr captures his own spotlight, by simply leaving every inch of effort on the stage for all to see. His passion for the music is infectious, and the crowd delight in his relentless energy for these songs.

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The Manchester crowd is obviously enamoured with The Killers, but there’s a real moment of connection during a touching song dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Manchester and Las Vegas attacks earlier this year. Flowers refers to Manchester as The Killers’ ‘musical home’ and this dedication serves as a moving moment for all in the Arena.

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By 11pm, as the opening notes of Mr Brightside chime out throughout the venue, the audience is euphoric. The Killers have been playing for two hours, but no one is ready to go home. It’s hard to imagine a louder, more exuberant finale to an incredible live show. THIS is rock and roll.


Setlist:
Wonderful Wonderful
The Man
Somebody Told Me
Spaceman
Run for Cover
I Can’t Stay
Smile Like You Mean It
For Reasons Unknown
Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
Rut
Tyson vs. Douglas
Human
This River Is Wild
A Dustland Fairytale
Be Still
Runaways
Read My Mind
All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:
The Calling
Believe Me Natalie
When You Were Young
Mr. Brightside

Listening:
Wonderful Wonderful [2017]

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