Cover feature The Killers: it’s a wonderful life
A lot has changed for The Killers over the last five years but, as they return to London’s Brixton Academy over a decade since first playing there, we find they’re as bombastic and brilliant as ever.
Tonight, Brixton is buzzing. The South London district is certainly no stranger to having its streets flooded with music lovers, but it’s not often that, late on a Tuesday afternoon, there are already hordes of fans – most of who are kitted out with band t-shirts - shouldering their way through the ticket touts that haunt the Underground exit. By the time that the infamous Academy comes into view, there’s a queue already snaking around the block, hours before doors are due to open. The lettering above its entrance bears two words with a proud flourish, and it’s suddenly very clear what all the fuss is about: The Killers are back in town.
For most artists, Brixton Academy is a career pinnacle, a momentous occasion where almost 5,000 bodies cram into its hallowed hall for one of their biggest shows to date. Tonight is an altogether different affair. Tonight is about swapping the huge arenas of their upcoming tour for a tightly-packed cavern. And, considering their last show in the capital took place at London’s Hyde Park just weeks earlier, that’s an understatement.
“We can’t help but get a little bit sentimental about these places,” begins drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr, sat in his dressing room a few hours ahead of stage time. Thinking back to the last time they played at the venue – he’s adamant that it can’t actually have been way back in 2006, as part of their ‘Sam’s Town’ run – it’s clear their return stands as a marker of their achievements so far. “We have a lot of great memories, but rather than it being about remembering everything and reliving the good old days, it more reminds you of how far you’ve come.”