Columbus, OH, Promowest Pavilion, May 26, 2005

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

It is hard to believe that only two years ago, The Killers guitarist David Keuning was leaning up against the wall at Promowest Pavilion talking to musicohio as music fans walked by like nothing was happening. The show was Phantom Planet, and The Killers were begging to be allowed to play the CD101 low dough show. So they played first, as most of the audience had yet to even think about leaving the house to attend the show.

Since then, The Killers, with the help if the astronomically successful single Mr. Brightside, have sold out the Newport Music Hall in a few days in 2004, and sold out Promowest in equally timed fashion in 2005.

 

And speaking of fashion, The Killers are almost as well known for their Las Vegas flair as their style of music. Much like David Byrne of the 1980s, The Killers are suited up and looking suave as they play their radio-friendly, retro pop. When talking to Keuning two years ago, he related the band more to U2 than any common-sounding counterparts. It wasn't that Keuning foresaw the future success, it was a statement made to lend the band songwriting credentials. The Killers are a great songwriting band, and when there are quality lyrics backed by pop melodies and rock harmonies, about the only the band can do is become successful.

 

It was almost like a traveling Vegas lounge show. The red velvet-like stage was only enhanced by Brandon Flowers' shelled and sequined keyboard. The Killers have found a way to combine the greatness of a casino lounge act with the atmosphere of a festival and combine them just right to give the sold out crowd the intimate feeling of being just a few feet away.

 

In a music market today filled with live shows that do not go much beyond live bodies replaying what was listened to in the CD changer on the way to the show, The Killers are one of the few bands that stretched themselves to give a performance.

With the bright lights, the sparkle and the gaudy coolness that fans expect, The Killers delivered.

 

About the only downside to the show was just how short it was. Over by 10:20 or so, The Killers only played about an hour, and with just one opening band, it seemed there was the thirst for more, but no water was there to be taken in.

 

Sometimes it seems that success and fame can come a bit too early, and although The Killers may definitely be deserving of their success, when it comes to live shows, there is a catch 22. Playing sold-out shows with only one record, Hot Fuss, is a daunting task for any band. But rather than be content with their live show, The Killers do tend to go beyond where just about any other band in their shoes would go. The Killers have invested in their fans by trying to put on a show that can be talked about and discussed days, weeks and years later. "Remember the red carpet and velvet?" "How about that giant Killers sign in light?" This was a performance that fns could go away talking about, and where the talk could have easily been about it being 10:20 and it was time to go home, The Killers we able to leave fans believing the hour was something more, and as sorority girls and fraternity guys left Promowest to head to the clubs, talk was all about the show. It is rare that those leaving Promowest Pavilion can talk about a show in that manner; about the glitz, glamour and glittery gig that just occurred before their eyes and ears, but The Killers leant them that topic and the sold out crowd ran with it all the way home.

Dave Keuning
Brandon Flowers
Brandon Flowers
Dave Keuning
Mark Stoermer
Ronnie Vannucci Jr.