The Killers Bring the Fire (Literally) to Miami

A few weeks back, Killers’ drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. told New Times that Miami would soon experience an “alternative universe.” On Tuesday evening, the band brought that universe to American Airlines Arena. And, it turns out the Killers’ domain is pretty damn stellar.

Its key components? Vegas nostalgia, desert landscapes, confetti, and a lot of disco-esque triangles. Oh yeah, and a two-hour journey through the band’s 17 years of tunes.

Before the spectacle arrived, it was opener Alex Cameron, a singer-songwriter from Australia who cowrote five of the tunes on the Killers' latest album, for a 27-minute set. Accompanied by his “business partner” and saxophonist Roy Molloy, the openers just seemed to miss the mark, and the one-eighth-filled arena (at best at that point) wasn't really digging it.

A highlight of the opening set was when Molloy talked about the furniture the band had borrowed from the venue. It was a barstool with a “Shithouse Mike” label on it.

“It has some triggered pine, it’s polished, it has a nice aluminum composite footrest,” Molly said. “It’s comfortable and attractive, and I give it four stars out of five.”

Unfortunately for the openers, it was three stars out of five, if that. While it would’ve been a good set for an intimate venue, it didn’t feel wonderful enough on the big stage.

On the topic of “wonderful,” the Vegas rockers kicked off their set with the title track off the latest number one album, “Wonderful, Wonderful.” (Okay, we’ve far exceeded the quota of using the word “wonderful” in this article.)

And by that point the venue was basically full.

Lead singer Brandon Flowers strutted out in an all-white suit, which we later learned was the “white suit that was saved for the Miami show.” Eight more musicians joined him onstage, including Vannucci on a big, lit-up pedestal. Three backup dancers were stationed in front of three Venus symbols.

There was also a big, “MIAMI” painted water tower stage-right and, on the opposite end, two giant neon arrows. It was the perfect homage to the tour and the band’s home (Vegas).

From there, it was on to the latest mega-hit, “The Man.” Pink confetti rained down, and Flowers swaggered around the stage as iconic, old-school neon signs flashed in the background. “The Man” is totally one of those songs that you wonder, “How in the hell is anyone going to sing this live?”

Well, Flowers kept up with the pace in pristine fashion.

Other high-tempo highlights included blazing renditions of “Somebody Told Me,” “Spaceman,” “For Reasons Unknown,” and “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine.”

Zooming back in on the vocals, Flowers aced the calmer moments, too. “Rut” — a slower highlight on the latest LP — was incredible live. (It highlights a loved one’s struggles with PTSD.) And the band played a deconstructed, roller-coaster version of “Dustland Fairytale."

To close the main set, the Killers rocked an album-quality version of “All These Things I Have Done,” leaving the crowd chanting, “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier” as red, white, and blue confetti fell from the ceiling.

After what felt like the longest break ever, the Killers returned for a four-song encore. The reason for the delay? Well, Flowers was wearing an Elvis-like gold suit layered in sparkly gems. That costume change had to take some time.

The group closed out the evening with fiery versions of “When You Were Young” (there was literally fire pouring down in the background) and “Mr. Brightside.”

Toward the beginning of the intergalactic evening, Flowers quoted the legendary daredevil Evel Knievel: “You pay for the attempt, not the perfect landing.”

Well, in Miami the Killers definitely stuck the landing.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >