The Killers were in Montreal last night for a rare arena show amongst a handful of summer festival dates. The context meant a minimal stage set relying solely on lighting for effect, and solid musicianship from the Las Vegas band. Frontman Brandon Flowers was the band’s focal point, offering a solid vocal presence and a heavy dose of charisma that won over the fans from the start.
The band walked on stage while the house lights were still on and teared into a spirited version of Mr Brightside. For the next two hours, the band played all the hits, newer songs that should have been hits, and even a rousing cover of CCR’s Bad Moon Rising (kudos to Flowers for quoting the popular misheard lyric “there’s a bathroom on the right” instead of “there’s a bad moon on the rise” in one of the verses.) I didn’t think this song would fit their sound, but what an amazing version they played! Flowers had a little bit of John Fogerty’s twang in his voice, and they seemed to have so much fun playing it that it was infectious!
Their first two albums made up the bulk of the setlist, but the newer material got a great reaction from the crowd too. The band was tight, delivering their material precisely and passionately, to the delight of the medium sized crowd (many sections were closed off) who sang along to every song. If I had one complaint, it’s that the sound was a little loud and distorted when all the band played at full intensity, like during those awesome climaxes that seem to occur in most great Killers songs.
It had been a while since The Killers played Montreal, but they were worth the wait. Hopefully they’ll come up with new material soon, and be back on the road. Rock may not be what it used to be, but it’s alive and well as long as bands like The Killers are around.
Opening the evening was Montreal’s Stars. They did a decent job of warming up the audience (a sizable portion came in after they played though), but overall, they were unremarkable.
The Way It Was
Smile Like You Mean It
Bling (Confession of a King)
Miss Atomic Bomb
Somebody Told Me
Bad Moon Rising
For Reasons Unknown
From Here On Out
A Dustland Fairytale
Read My Mind
All These Things That I’ve Done
Shot at the Night
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
When You Were Young
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