Live Review

The Killers, Wembley Stadium, London

Welcome to the big league, boys. We’ve been expecting you.

Photo: Torey Mundkowsky
Emerging alone centre stage, Brandon Flowers almost looks as though he’s sneakily snuck through the back door of Wembley Stadium. His face is plastered with a cheeky grin, spread wide from the moment he looks out upon the legions of fans stretching in front of his eye line. It’s a smile that we should get used to seeing this evening; you can probably spot his pearly whites all the way at the back.

Tonight is a gigantic feat for The Killers. A band truly born of the Noughties with just four albums to their name, some naysayers were still shaking their heads at the venue choice just moments before the band’s stage time. Festival headline sets they could manage, but was this a leap too far? By the end of tonight, there’s a good 80,000 people who might dare to disagree.

Flowers’ smile is fixed as he begins to tinkle the ivories for ‘Enterlude’ - a rather apt introduction to their largest headline show - before that wonderfully familiar guitar chord kicks in and ‘When You Were Young’ blows up into life. The pace is quickly set for the show, with the Las Vegas quartet transporting us through the last decade-and-a-bit of their career.

The songs – whether they’re the rarely aired ‘This River Is Wild’ or the anthemic (and still grammatically confusing, but who cares anyway?) ‘Human’ – pulsate with that energy only reserved for such massive shows, and there’s not a moment of their time that doesn’t feel special. A greatest hits sets of the finest pedigree filled with lasers and pyro, that’s not the sole charm of the show: their tender moments are exquisite, and their playful moments, namely their cover of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’, are brilliant.

The frontman himself, all slicked hair and leather jacket, remains resolute in his happiness. In fact, it’s safe to say we’ve never seen the normally more-reserved frontman look quite so animated on stage. It’s only to his aid. With his vocals sounding stronger and more impressive than ever, his stage presence is commanding but fun, with just the right measure of cheeky thrown in the mix.

The real gem this evening lies not in the enigmatic ‘Battle Born’, the intoxicating ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ or the tremendous closing number ‘Mr Brightside’, but a new song, written especially for the show. Simply titled ‘Wembley Song’, it’s again one of their more personable moments and, as Flowers guides his audience through the number – a song detailing their history, Wembley’s history and just how the pair finally met in the middle - it’s evidence enough that here are a band deserving of the stage they’re gracing.

Welcome to the big league, boys. We’ve been expecting you.

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