The Killers Bring Their Brand of Neo-Indie-Pop to the shores of Miami – Review of the concert at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL
Biscayne Bay erupted on a Tuesday night (January 23) with a Vegas-style performance from Vegas new wave and indie rockers The Killers hosted by American Airlines Arena in Miami. It was definitely a spectacle of a performance with an array of flashing 80’s style neon lighting, geometric stage screens, and colorful confetti galore. Two neon-striped giant arrows pointing down on the side of the stage and neon-striped mic and keyboard stands in the shapes of the male and female symbol added to the glowing 80’s flair. A random water tower labeled “Miami” written on the front stood tall opposite the side with the arrows. South Florida Killers’ fans gazed upon the luminous stage and subsequently showed the performers how to party 80s on a Tuesday night in Miami with an arena-packed crowd singing and dancing along to their favorite indie tunes.
Before the party initiated in full force, Australian electronica and indie artist, Alex Cameron, opened with a brief five song set. Their sound resembled a more chill indie/electronica version of The Killers own wide-ranging musical style. He was backed by business partner, Roy Molloy on saxophone, Holiday Sidewinder on keys and vocals, Justin Nijssen on both guitar and bass, and Henri Lindström on drums. His buddy Roy Molloy, would sit on a stool between songs and playing his harmonious saxophone melodies. Molloy likes to review the furniture the production crew brings for his use and it ended up being a pretty hysterical moment as it contained a tag labeled “Sh*thouse Mike” and probably helped his decision to rate the stool as 4/5 stars. Their short set included hits Happy Ending, The Comeback, Candy May, Stranger’s Kiss (a duet with beautiful keyboardist Holiday Sidewinder), and Marlon Brando.
The festivities hit the roof when The Killers arrived on stage one-by-one, with touring guitarist Ted Sablay appearing first, playing the slow intro to their title track on their newest album release Wonderful Wonderful (and name of their current tour), and then a triangular screen lifted and folded into the ceiling of the stage, revealing drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. and touring keyboardist Robbie Connolly, followed by the rest of the touring members, Jake Blanton on bass, Taylor Milne in the back on lead guitar, and his three beautiful backup singers Amanda Brown, Erica Canales, and Danielle Withers.
The vibe completely changed when The Man started, the newest single off the Wonderful Wonderful album. The entire background of the stage was a geometric video screen that displayed the iconic neon symbols of Vegas nightlife accompanied by an 80’s style laser light show and a sudden eruption of pink confetti. Front-man Brandon Flowers’ bounced around stage in his all white Miami-style suit, the combination resembling that of an Elvis Presley impersonator spectacle at a worn-down Vegas casino. Next, Somebody Told Me, one of their earliest and most popular hits, caused the audience to explode in excitement. Spaceman, The Way It Was, and then a new release Run For Cover, followed and showed the music video for Run For Cover. I Can’t Stay, Smile Like You Mean It, For Reasons Unknown, and Jenny Was A Friend of Mine continued the middle of their set, with spectacular lighting and much crowd participation.
The music then calmed back down a bit with new slower hit Rut and having the lights dimmed caused the audience to turn on their phone lights by the thousands, in a dazzling show of musical unity. Afterwards, The Killers knocked out old school hit after hit with Bling (Confessions Of A King), Human, Runnin’ Outta Luck (featuring a delayed accompaniment of Alex Cameron and his band), This River Is Wild, Runaways and Read My Mind. They closed out their set with fan-favorite All These Things That I’ve Done with the entire crowd singing every lyric, chanting the repetitive line “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” and then being showered once again in an eruption of red, white, and blue confetti that cascaded down over the audience.
Then, the lights went dark but the final guitar note continued to ring and after what seemed like an eternity, The Killers returned to the stage with Flowers having changed from “the suit he saved just for Miami” to a golden-sparkled Elvis-style suit with another brand new hit, The Calling, being played by the boisterous Vegas band, as the screen displayed a man preaching and freaky religious symbols. The change of appearance reflected his performance with the first part of their set as seemingly mocking the cocky “Man” persona and then seemed to blossom into a more mature but fun “Mr. Brightside” style of dancing and performing for the thousands still in the crowd during the encore.
After Andy You’re A Star, they played When You Were Young and incorporated a blazing wave of sparks that rained down in a waterfall across the stage ceiling, showering down over the band. Finally the “killer” band ended where it all began, with cult hit Mr. Brightside. Flowers played his signature male symbolled neon-light keyboard like he had previously throughout the entire performance. It was dark but the lighting shined a brilliant green and purple atmosphere, and the crowd once again sang every lyric to the original hit that would end up defining the theme to their unique musical style.