Monday, 24 June 2013

“From Dave’s apartment to Wembley”

Reeling off a list of greats to grace the stage at Wembley in a specially written song for the occasion, Brandon Flowers exclaims the next line with pride: “after tonight, you’re gonna put another name on that list!”

It’s taken ten years for the band from Nevada to get to this point. Ten years, four studio albums, and a hell of a lot of grit and determination. They’ve shaken off their critics, like all bands do, and come back stronger. Their latest album Battle Born showing them to be as robust as ever, and well worth a place amongst the elite to have played at Wembley Stadium.

I’ll wax lyrical about Saturday night for a long time, but I have a reason to, and you’ll just have to take my word for it: I’ll never see a better show than The Killers at Wembley Stadium.

The full picture. Image:
The lyrics ‘We hope you enjoy your stay’ rang around the stadium as Brandon appeared on stage, solo at the piano singing Enterlude, before being joined by the rest of the band who burst into When You Were Young – complete with pyrotechnics galore. We were jumping, singing, dancing and drenched in (what I hope was) beer, and the show had only just begun.

After soaring through Spaceman, The Way It Was and Smile Like You Mean It, Brandon asked the crowd if it was alright if they sang one of their old numbers, before firing into This River Is Wild. That was it: the sixth song in, and my night had been made.

The rest of the phenomenal set was laced with the records which helped them rise to fame, as well as sensational covers of Shadowplay and I Think We’re Alone Now. They lit up the whole of Wembley with Here With Me and had us all mesmerized by their Wembley Song, name checking the greats to have played Wembley – ‘U2, Oasis, The Foos, The Eagles, Madonna and Muse’ – apologising for the past – ‘Green Day, I said some shit, but that was the old me’ – and brilliantly including their own lyrics – ‘the devil’s water and the good old days, ain’t we all just runaways?’ – making the night incomparable to any other concert or gig I had been to before.

Brandon Flowers. Image:
All These Things That I’ve Done saw Wembley bathed in confetti, before the band came out for an encore to Flesh and Bone. The band flew into Jenny Was Friend Of Mine before the rousing Battle Born, and finishing the only way a show like this could be finished: with Mr Brightside.

There’s no over-hype surrounding The Killers. They are just a band of four phenomenally talented individuals – Brandon Flowers on vocals, Dave Keuning on guitar, Ronnie Vannucci Jr. on drums and Mark Stoermer on bass – four talented, yet down to earth people, who as a unit make pretty bloody great rock music. It’s as simple as that.

One humbling moment of the show saw Brandon doing his usual thanking the audience by coming along the front row, but this felt different. He was shaking as many hands as he could; he was down there for ages. And it really struck a chord with me because you could see just how grateful he was that they were there.

And straight after the show? Right back to it again, as the band were whisked away to a secret after show gig at The Garage in Islington, where they played the usual hits as well as songs like Tranquilize and Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll to a lucky few.

The Killers on stage. Image:
In an interview in NME magazine in the week leading up to the Wembley appearance, Ronnie talked about how when they were playing in his garage, right back at the start, he said: “We’ll play this shit at Wembley Stadium one day” and on Saturday night, they did just that.

Some said they weren’t big enough for Wembley. But after their huge performance there, many will say Wembley wasn’t big enough for them.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautifully written. I'm thrilled (and annoyingly jealous) that you were able to experience it!

    Concerts are the absolute best.