The Killers played their “secret” gig at Webster Hall tonight. Tickets were available online as late as 3 hours before the show.
As we waited for the Killers to come on, the general consensus on the “children’s summer stock version of Moulin Rouge meets strip mall restaurant opening” set design was thumbs down. The giantic mirrored ball with Christmas lights dangled around it was…confusing to say the least.
[Seriously, what is all that crap????]
When the Killers came on stage the audience errupted into applause. At the risk of “blowing their wad too soon” (that’s what we call it in the biz), the band played some of their biggest (and soon to be biggest) hits right off the bat: “Somebody Told Me”, off Hot Fuss, and “When You Were Young”, off the new album. The momentum slowed down a bit 3/4 through, but the final encore of “Mr. Brightside” pumped the audience up one final time.
They debuted a handful of new songs off the new LP…and they sounded very Bowie meets Stephen Trask. So in a phrase, “glam rock”.
Not only was frontman Brandon Flowers sporting the “pornstache” but drummer Ronnie Vannucci also appeared to have his clothing and grooming styling done on the NBC backlot during a taping of “My Name is Earl.” There was also another guy in the back who seemed to be playing the keyboards and guitar who ALSO had a ‘stache to rival Burt Reynolds.
I have to say, The Killers live show has vastly improved from the very first time I ever saw them (at Ultragrrrl’s Prom at Rothko back in June of 2004), and most certainly since I saw them in a traumatizingly bad episode of American Pepsi Smash Hits–the single incident that convinced me that the Killers sucked live.
Although they are still no Morrissey or White Stripes, they are trying. Brandon Flowers twirled about the stage in what Jeff called “Nutcracker spins” (hands up at a 90 degree angle, hopping on one leg, around and around in a circle) and looked a little bit like a Pee Wee Herman doll being pulled on strings, but it was better than him just standing in front of the keyboards, pounding away and singing in an unanimated fashion.
Somehow the music seemed less monotone, the songs were allowed space to breathe. All in all, a good night for pop music.