The Killers headlined the last night of V Festival in Chelmsford’s Hylands Park last night (August 17), bringing out comedian Jimmy Carr to mark the occasion.
Entering a simple, light-filled stage set-up to an extended intro of ‘Hot Fuss’ track ‘Somebody Told Me’, the band – led by singer Brandon Flowers – then continued into ‘Spaceman’ before addressing the crowd for the first time. “What’s up Chelmsford? Is it true the only way is Essex?” joked Flowers.
“There’s gotta be a few others ways, right? Is it OK if we show you the Las Vegas way?” They then launched into ‘The Way It Was’ and ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, before Flowers introduced the band’s new cover – Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’.
Taking to the piano, the singer declared, “We’ve been working on a new little thing we thought we’d share with you. Our drummer Ronnie Vannucci is going to interpret it for you.” Flowers then performed the chorus of ‘Fancy’ on the piano as Vannucci came to centre stage and performed a theatrical interpretive dance to the lyrics to huge applause.
‘Miss Atomic Bomb’ came complete with pyrotechnics, while ‘Human’ received the first mass crowd sing-a-long. The band then continued with another cover, this time of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’. Following 2007 track ‘For Reasons Unknown’, Flowers introduced the other members of the band as they each performed a solo, while ‘A Dustland Fairytale’ was interspersed with a portion of Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. The band then finished the main section of the set with ‘Read My Mind’, ‘Runaways’ and a huge singalong of ‘All These Things I’ve Done’.
With the crowd continuing to sing the “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” line from the latter track as the group went off for the encore, comedian Jimmy Carr then came on to the stage. “Good evening Essex, you have two options,” he began. “You could call it an early night, beat the traffic and be fresher for work or you could demand more.” Introducing the band back on, The Killers then concluded with ‘When You Were Young’ – during which a wall of fireworks cascaded down the back of the stage. The set ended with final track ‘Mr Brightside’.
The Killers played:
‘Somebody Told Me’
‘The Way It Was’
‘Smile Like You Mean It’
‘Bling (Confessions Of A King)’
‘Miss Atomic Bomb’
‘Shot At The Night’
‘Bad Moon Rising’
‘For Reasons Unknown’
‘From Here On Out’
‘Dustland/ Brown Eyed Girl’
‘Read My Mind’
‘All These Things I’ve Done’
‘When You Were Young’
Earlier in the day, Lily Allen also played the main stage, commenting on recent rumours that she had split from husband Sam Cooper by prefacing ‘As Long As I Got You’ by saying, “this song is about my husband who I love very much and I am definitely still married to”. Elsewhere in a set that included old tracks ‘LDN’, ‘Smile’ and ‘The Fear’ as well as John Lewis Christmas advert cover ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, Allen went on to introduce recent single ‘Hard Out Here’: “I’m not going to give this one an intro because I’ve already given myself a reputation as some annoying feminist. I’ll let the words do the talking”. She also joked that she’s “always had a close connection with Chelmsford – it’s where [she] bought [her] first car and crashed [her] first car on the same day.”
Rudimental drew one of the biggest crowds of the day to the main stage, playing a 40-minute set immediately before Allen. Running through a hit-heavy set including ‘Waiting All Night’ and ‘Free’, the Hackney group finished with ‘Feel The Love’, encouraging the crowd to sing the chorus and instructing them to “make this big”.
Elsewhere across the site, Katy B played to a sizeable crowd on the MTV stage. Performing tracks from her debut and recent LP ‘Little Red’, the singer played the likes of ‘Lights On’ and ‘On A Mission’ to a receptive crowd while Chloe Howl fared less well earlier in the day, playing to an almost empty tent on the Futures stage.
Paolo Nutini, Chic feat Nile Rodgers, Rita Ora and Tinie Tempah were among the acts to play across the festival through the rest of the day.