The Killers Honda Center May 1, 2013 Never underestimate the power of a kick-ass, midweek rock show. Last night, the Killers' Sin City swagger was enough to rev up an entire stadium of fans at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
While a sold-out arena show might seem to come off as effortless for a band of this magnitude, it's actually quite a feat for a rock band in an area where plenty of local fans have already blown their concert budget on Coachella. Luckily for us, the Killers don't adhere to any set music scene (nor political scene, for that matter) and, therefore, know how to put on a great show that not only sounded fabulous, but also satisfied fans of all stages of the band's sound. Speaking of which, Battle Born, the band's fourth and most recent album, was released last September and was initially met with mixed reviews, as the band's sound went from an initial dark, dancey, synth-rock to a much earthier--dare we say heartland rock?--point of view.
Needless to say, it has taken a few months for Battle Born to fully aerate and resonate with OC music fans. And thank the stars for that because the result was a crowded house singing along to the new material. Had Brando and the crew tried to play a show here shortly after the new album's release last fall, it's difficult to confidently say whether this particular set would have gone over as well with the crowd as it did last night.
Highlights of the show included not only many of their biggest hits--such as "Mr. Brightside" and "Smile Like You Mean It"--but the band were also full of shout-outs last night. First, Brandon Flowers delivered a poignant ode to the land of Mickey when he belted out that grand old Disney tune "When You Wish Upon a Star" in its entirety. The band also paid homage to the '80s with a cover of Tiffany's cover of "I Think We're Alone Now." He later moved into the '90s with a little shout-out to the Anaheim Ducks when he said to the crowd, "The Ducks won last night--that Emilio Estevez is one helluva coach!!" Wow, so many relevant cultural references in one concert! Oh, Brando, you're so lucky you're so pretty!
Critic's Bias: This is my second time reviewing the Killers, and while I must give props to what a satisfying show the band put on in terms of set list and sound, their peeps do not know how to treat a lady; this time, they had your girl reviewing the show way back in the nosebleed section!
The Crowd: Mostly 21- to 40-year-old rock junkies. A lot of young, hot parents just looking for a solid escape from the house.
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Overheard In the Crowd: "Why doesn't he just take his shirt off already?" Oh, wait, that might have been me.
Random Notebook Dump: Back in the nosebleed section, the cutest little Latin couple with matching "Best Day Ever" tattoos on their forearms were rocking out, pseudo-Kumbia style, to the music for the whole show. God bless the Killers and beer!! Full setlist below Setlist: Mr. Brightside Spaceman The Way It Was Smile Like You Mean It Prize Fighter (interlude) Bling Confessions of a King Miss Atomic Bomb Human Somebody Told Me I Think We're Alone Now (Tommy James & the Shondells cover) For Reasons Unknown From Here on Out A Dustland Fairy Tail Read My Mind Runaways All These Things That I've Done
Encore Jenny Was a Friend of Mine When You Were Young Battle Born