The Killers at 1STBANK Center, 11/29/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

Wyatt Boswell
Brandon Flowers of the Killers last night at 1STBANK Center.


Somebody told me a few years ago that the Killers were over, that their talent was gone, and their stride ended after Hot Fuss. Apparently, nobody told Brandon Flowers. After one of the most surprisingly strong rock shows we've seen this year, it was clear why we should all still keep the faith. The Mr. Brightside crew has only gotten better. The comparisons to a young U2 were well-deserved last night.

See also:
- Review: The Killers at Red Rocks, 9/9/09
- Review: The Killers at Magness Arena, 1/20/09
- Brandon Flowers at the Ogden Theatre, 11/18/10
- Best of Denver 2004: Best Concert, Killers at Larimer
- Profile: The Killers move forward into the past
- Vegas, Baby! Meet Danny Vegas, the Sin City showman the Killers love

The Killers charged out of the gate with "Flesh and Bone," a thunderous new cut from Battle Born, their fourth studio album. It showcased Flowers' vocals -- my god, the man can sing a note with the best of 'em -- while also proving just exactly why they're still here ten years on: sheer talent, determination and the romance of Springsteen-esque lyricism.

"Runaways" likewise encapsulated all the best of what the Killers had to offer. Only seconds in on the song and hairs were standing on end. And how could they not? "Blonde hair blowing in the summer wind, a blue-eyed girl playing in the sand..." may be simple lyrics, but Flowers didn't sing them simply. It was if the man was singing for his life. He didn't have a chip on his shoulder, nor did he have anything to prove to his adoring crowd. Rather, he had a dogged determination to put on a damn good show. It was the Vegas in him, for sure, but no one was complaining.

Wyatt Boswell
The Killers last night at 1STBANK Center.

Older hits -- "Somebody Told Me" and "Mr. Brightside" -- hadn't aged a day, and sat well with their newer, more organic sounding songs. The Killers' catalog, despite its range of influences and instruments -- from the synth-heavy buzz of Hot Fuss to the '80s vibe of Day & Age to the more guitar-driven rock of Battle Born -- blended so well together that the setlist ran much more like a greatest hits tour led by a veteran showman.

The best performance of the night was easily of "All These Things That I've Done." From that first pulse of the piano to the pop of the graffiti at the end, Flowers led the entire audience through a chorus of new age Americana if ever there was one. And in five or so minutes, the essence of the Killers was so perfectly summarized.

Wyatt Boswell
The Killers last night at 1STBANK Center.

Here, fans young and old -- I swear the guy headbanging in front of me on the floor had to be at least 45 and knew every single word to every single song -- were just as dedicated to the Killers' version of the American dream: Make everywhere as awesome and over-the-top and filled with character as Las Vegas.

That's not to say that the show didn't have its lows. Flowers liked to engage in on-stage banter that, for the most part, came off a little too preachy for a rock star. He didn't look like a thing like Jesus, but he did talk (and dress) like a gentleman, so all could be forgiven. Oddly, the guy knew quite a bit about Denver, too. Charmingly, he addressed the Red Rocks debacle of a few years ago, then quickly noted that if Denver and Las Vegas were to ever get together, they'd have a baby named Reno.

Wyatt Boswell
The Killers last night at 1STBANK Center.

The man even remembered the very first show The Killers played in Denver: "I remember when we played the Larimer Lounge. There were seven or eight people there." I don't know if he had checked the Larimer Lounge Twitter feed hours earlier that made mention of this same trivia, but nonetheless, it was impressive that Flowers remembered -- and it was all the easier to believe the Killers have come so far so fast.

Likewise, Flowers didn't have to do any fancy choreography -- hell, he didn't even have to throw out any appropriate power-rock fist pumps -- to keep us engaged for a two-hour set of new age rock songs that transformed into arena rock for the live show. That electric smile was all we needed.

As the first show on the Killers' US 2012 tour since going overseas for about two months, it was clear Flowers and company were glad to be back. Flowers smiled like he meant it -- genuinely. The guy was all pearly whites the entire show. You really could tell he wanted to be there on that stage playing 1STBANK Center, and as long as he continued to give 110 percent, his audience wanted him to be there, too.

Location Info


1STBANK Center

11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield, CO

Category: Music

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