June 23, 2011 9:15

The Killers make UK live return at tiny London show

Las Vegas band kick off two-night residency in the capital

Photo: Andy Willsher Next Previous

Photo Gallery: The Killers
Photo: Andy Willsher

The Killers made a triumphant return the UK last night (June 22) with an intimate show at London’s Scala venue. The Las Vegas band kicked off a two-night residency at the 1,000-capacity venue to a packed house, with tickets for the performances reported to have sold out in six minutes.

Speaking backstage before the gig, frontman Brandon Flowers admitted to feeling nervous about the show —The Killers’ first in the UK for nearly two years — but said he was excited to be playing in a smaller venue than the band is normally accustomed to.

“I’m a little nervous,” he said. “With my solo record I’ve been playing smaller gigs so I kinda got used to these kinds of venues. But The Killers love going back and playing these smaller shows, we rate ‘em right up there with the big ones.”

The band was in buoyant form throughout, Flowers barely able to conceal his delight during thunderous opener and ‘Sam’s Town’ single ‘For Reasons Unknown’. “You’re looking well, you’re looking well,” he told audience members, going on to ask “how are your parents?”

Next up was ‘This Is Your Life’ and a rendition of ‘Somebody Told Me’, followed by another ‘Hot Fuss’ cut in the shape of ‘Smile Like You Mean It’.

Flowers was grinning and reaching out to fans throughout, zipping about the stage and gesturing frantically during ‘Spaceman’, and doubling over in ecstasy on the band’s calling-card track ‘Mr Brightside’, aired to a deafening reception.

Other highlights from the show included a euphoric version of ‘Human’, a pair of songs from the ‘Sawdust’ B-sides/rarities comp in ‘Tranquilize’ and Joy Division cover ‘Shadowplay’, and an airing of ‘Dustland Fairytale’ which segued into ‘Moon River’.

“There isn’t a man in his twenties onstage anymore,” said Flowers during the encore (he turned 30 on Tuesday). “But you’re still here, so I guess we must be doing something right!” Then the band launched into their final number, a rollicking and poignant burn through ‘When You Were Young’.

None of the material the band is currently working on for the follow-up to ‘Day & Age’ was performed at the show, with Flowers jokingly citing YouTube as the reason why: “We might play some [new tracks] tomorrow, I don’t know yet. I haven’t written lyrics for the songs. I used to ad-lib words at early Killers shows, as long as we had some kind of melody and an arrangement for the song I’d just let it out, but then YouTube happened. You could kinda get away with it before but now it’s different.”

The Killers played:

'For Reasons Unknown'
'This is Your Life'
'Somebody Told Me'
'Smile Like You Mean It'
'The World We Live In'
'Bling (Confession Of A King)'
'Dustland Fairytale'
'Read My Mind'
'Mr Brightside'
'All These Things That I’ve Done'
'Change Your Mind'
'Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine'
'When You Were Young'

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