With the Virgins
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Saturday, August 17, 2013
It was the final show on the Battle Born tour. And the Killers definitely saved the best (and by best, we mean the 305) for last.
As Brandon Flowers, Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci, Dave Keuning, and the rest of the touring crew made their entrance at the American Airlines Arena, young and old rockers with ponytails and Metallica t-shirts, plaid button-downs and Converse sneakers, and chicks in tight leather skirts and heeled ankle boots threw their hands in the air, jumped up and down, and sang along to "Mr. Brightside."
Appropriately enough, the arena lights shone bright on the audience and revealed the Killers' hyped-up crowd of willing victims, including the night's most flamboyant fan, wearing a long-sleeved, red-and-white-striped top underneath a white Killers t-shirt with navy blue lighting strikes.
Then the lights went out, except for flashes as the thousands of assembled fanatics snapped pics of frontman Flowers crooning away, equally flamboyant, in his tight black capris, combat boots, and a navy-and-white printed button-down.
"What's up, Miami?" he asked as the audience cheered. "It's been a while... Now let's test your Hot Fuss knowledge." And as soon as catchy synths started up and drums began beating, the crowd already knew they were gonna jam to "Smile Like You Mean It."
Flowers then introduced another favorite, "This River Is Wild." before being interrupted by an overeager Vannucci who came in a bit early. "I wasn't finished yet," Flowers said, jokingly staring down the drummer.
When the music finally began in earnest, Flowers, being such a multi-talented guy, alternated over the course of several songs between vocals, bass guitar, and synth, ending up at the keyboard, where he remained until the intro of "Bling (Confessions of a King)."
There weren't many stage props, but the lighting, effects, and Flowers' energetic and interactive stage presence was more than enough to keep the crowd screaming. The next couple of songs were accompanied by a laser light show that changed with the tempo of the music. But the most impressive effect was the firework show that erupted during the performance of "Miss Atomic Bomb."
After a few more Day & Age and Hot Fuss hits, including "Human" and the ever-popular "Somebody Told Me," the guys threw in a little surprise: a performance of Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now." And yes, the Killers killed it.
Then came "For Reasons Unknown," during which Flowers introduced the faces behind the music.
"I brought my dancing shoes," he quipped. "Dave, did you bring your dancing shoes?" And after the guitarist finished riffing away, Flowers responded, "In guitar speak, that's a yes. Vannucci, did you happen to bring them?" And following a minute-long freestyle session of jaw-dropping beats and rolls, Flowers told the crowd, "In Vegas, that's a hell yeah."
From there, the musical madness just kept on, right through "From Here On Out" which was followed by other hits from Day & Age, Battle Born, and more Hot Fuss.
The gig was a smooth ride until the end of "All These Things That I've Done" when the guys just walked off the stage without saying a word. During those two anticlimactic minutes, the fans were left scratching their heads wondering if the show had just ended.
Worries subsided when Flowers and the rest of the crew returned with Donald Cumming and Xan Aird of the Virgins, and went all folky with "Albuquerque," before going back to Hot Fuss with "Change Your Mind" and then some Battle Born.
With explosions of fire, confetti, and all, Vannucci went drum stick crazy throwing 'em at the crowd and Flowers gave his adios.
"You may have experienced thunder and rumble in your chest. No need for concern, I felt it too. That was Vannucci on the drums. You may have also felt sensations in places in your body you didn't even know existed. No need to be ashamed, I felt it too. You could thank Mark on the bass... And they call us the Killers and we're from fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada."
On cue, more fireworks burst and the guys put on an explosive performance (pun intended) of "Battle Born."
Just when the crowd thought it was all over (for a second time), Flowers said, "We have some unfinished business." Damn right, they did. And with that, they capped the show with "When You Were Young," looked yonder over the crowd one last time, and walked off the stage.
Mixed views aside, you gotta admit Flowers and his fellow Killers have a way with their music. Maybe it's their nostalgic appeal or their ability to keep fans on their toes with their performances. Whatever it is, they proved they still got it.
The Killers Setlist:
-"The Way It Was"
-"This River Is Wild"
-"Bling (Confessions of a King)"
-"Miss Atomic Bomb"
-"Somebody Told Me"
-"I Think We're Alone Now"
-"For Reasons Unknown"
-"From Here On Out"
-"A Dustland Fairytale"
-"All These Things That I've Done"
-"Albuquerque" with the Virgins
-"Change Your Mind"
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
-"When You Were Young"