Four Times the Killers Absolutely Killed It

The Killers
The Killers Photo by Anton Corbijn
The year was 2001. In the heat of the Southern Nevada desert, the Killers were born.

What started in garages and hole-in-the-wall venues throughout Vegas has evolved into something special. Flash forward 17 years and the Killers have released five studio albums and sold more than 22 million albums to-date. The band’s latest LP Wonderful, Wonderful dropped late last year and hit number one on the Billboard 200.

There have been so many memorable moments for the band over the years, and for South Florida fans, there are bound to be memories galore when the Killers rock the American Airlines Arena on January 23.

In preparation for the show and to take a walk down memory lane, here are four definitive times when the Killers absolutely killed it.
1. That time they played The Bait Shop on The O.C. (2004). Whether you were obsessed with the O.C. or thought it was teen drama cheesiness at its worst, there is absolutely no denying the quality of tunes the show featured. During its 92 episodes on the air, the O.C. featured the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, All-American Rejects, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Imogen Heap, Beck, Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand… and the list goes on and on, people. If bands hadn’t received their big break just yet, a spot on the show's soundtrack gave them a boost. One of the main hangouts on the show was the local music venue, The Bait Shop. In an episode released more than 13 years ago (wow, this show is suddenly "old"), the Killers played a guest set. Tunes including “Smile Like You Mean It” and “Mr. Brightside” took center stage to an incredibly awkward double date between Seth and Lindsey along with Ryan and Alex. While the date was not super smooth, the Killers sure were.
2. When they dropped a Christmas single for ten consecutive years (2006 to 2015). For ten glorious years, the Killers helped everyone get in the holiday spirit. Starting in ’06, the band released a Christmas-themed song and video combo. This tradition continued for ten consecutive years, resulting in songs like “Joel the Lump of Coal,” “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball,” and “Don’t Shoot Me, Santa.” At the end of the ten-year stretch, the band released the album Don’t Waste Your Wishes, which contains all ten songs and a Killers version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” The coolest part about all of this Christmas cheer? All proceeds from the song and album went to Product Red and its fight against AIDS.
3. When they jammed the White House Lawn on the Fourth of July (2010). We can add President Obama to the long list of Killers fans. On July 4, 2010, the Killers were the prez's guests, performing as part of the USO Salute to the Military, alongside Cedric the Entertainer and folk rocker Brandi Carlile. Sure, the band played its regulars: “When You Were Young,” “Human” and “Somebody Told Me” within its six-song set. But, the Killers’ version of “God Bless America,” infused with heavy piano and a light beat was the highlight.
4. When they rocked a Vegas benefit show (2017). For a city of lights and incredible energy, October 1, 2017 was one of Las Vegas’ darkest evenings. Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 500 injured by a loony sicko at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. In the days following the tragedy, Southern Nevada came together in a truly remarkable and inspiring way. It seemed anyone and everyone was helping Las Vegas in any way they could – the victims, the locals and the community itself. The Killers – which originally formed in Vegas in 2001 - stepped up big -time. Alongside fellow hometown rockers Imagine Dragons and a slew of Vegas artists, the band headlined an incredible benefit show on The Strip. In addition to raising funds for the victims of the shooting, it was one hell of an experience.

The Killers.
8 p.m. Tuesday, January 23, at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-777-1000; Tickets cost $21 to $91 via
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.

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