From the very moment The Killers announced they would play Swansea I knew I had to be there, being a fan for as long as I can remember and hearing stories of their shows, I knew they’d be good live, but I didn’t know they’d be THAT good. And that was that, on one of the warmest days in Wales, 20,000 people packed into the Liberty Stadium to see the band whose songs are as hot as the summer afternoon they were faced with.
Support came in the form of Juanita Stein, lead singer of the Howling Bells who ran through tracks from her upcoming album, warming the crowd up by encouraging sing-alongs to ‘Happy Birthday’ for her guitarist and hyping up the headliners. Despite only being on stage for 30 minutes, it is certain she definitely won over some new fans with her mesmerising, guitar pop and that her upcoming album will be one of 2018’s highlights. The Killers are certainly not easy to open for, especially when faced with a stubborn, overheating crowd, however, her warm tones and enchanting stage presence did just the trick.
Walking on cool, calm and collected, Brandon, Ronnie and co took the crowd in their stride, not even batting an eyelid to the horde of people screaming and smiling from the get-go, you get the feeling that this is just another normal night for them, not phased by it at all. Shouting, “If we’re the killers then that must mean you’re the victims” down the lead mic, forming an immediate relationship with the crowd as pink confetti burst from the stage and flew across the glowing skyline during opening track ‘The Man’, and just like that, the 2hr set was underway.
Old classics like ‘Spaceman’, ‘Smile Like You Mean It’ and ‘Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll’ were mixed and balanced by more recent songs from their latest album ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ with deep cut ‘Rut’ providing a slow, solemn moment, giving the backing singers the limelight due to its subject matter, Flowers’ wife’s PTSD, it was the only moment of reflection throughout the show almost as the crowd fell silent and took in the incredible atmosphere. As per a show for The Killers, most people come for the older songs, Swansea was no different with the majority of people only singing and reacting to their biggest hits, however, the biggest moments of beauty were maintained within these new songs, chances for the band to prove they are not a pop making machine but a genuine, authentic band with a sincere message behind them, a maturity that has developed recently in their writing, no longer talking about sexual antics in the back of cars (Midnight Show is forever a tune though) but taking on severe topics such as mental health and PTSD and to see Flowers sing so emotionally and discuss these issues live was where for me, the most special moments were hidden.
Taking a fan on stage to play keyboard during ‘Dustland Fairytale’, added humility and reinforced how much the band care for their fans as Brandon comforted the crying fan, Ellie, who couldn’t believe the chance and sheer luck she had stumbled upon. Along with Brandon’s subtle and softly spoken ‘thankyous’, their appreciation and devotion to the fans was clear, seeing 20,000 faces staring back at them is obviously not lost on Brandon, Ronnie, Ted and Jake, humble and genuine, their dedication shone through almost as brightly as the gold suit Brandon Flowers donned during the encore.
Bringing an end to a show with ‘Mr Brightside’, giving their absolute all, Vannucci dripping with sweat, throwing his drumsticks to the crowd, lifting the lights and walking to centre stage to share his own gratitude with the crowd as Flowers only seconds ago walked off silently with little fuss, as if he was a no one and hadn’t just given thousands of people the show of their lives.
Somebody Told Me
The Way It Was
Run For Cover
Smile Like You Mean It
For Reasons Unknown
Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll
Romeo & Juliet (Dire Straits cover)
Tyson Vs Douglas
Read My Mind
All These Things I’ve done
When You Were Young
Shot At The Night
FEATURED IMAGE: ROB LOUD