With all of the glitz and glamour of their hometown, Las Vegas rockers The Killers returned to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto last night in support of their new studio album, Wonderful Wonderful (out Sept. 22nd via Island).
Brandon Flowers and co. (minus lead guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer who opted not to participate on this tour) sounded as tight as ever as they breezed through a 23-song set that included several Wonderful Wonderful cuts including the R&B-flavoured “The Man”, the post-punk meets synthpop banger “Run For Cover”, and the deeply personal “Rut”, which deals with Flowers’ wife struggle with PTSD.
“It’s not easy putting on a rock and roll show”, Flowers said before launching into their 2004 hit “Somebody Told Me”. “Evel Knievel once said that people want to see the attempt, not the landing.” However, the now 10-member band nailed the landing as Flowers effortlessly proved to be one of the best voices in rock, as fellow original member Ronnie Vannucci Jr. oozed brilliance.
One Killers fan named Brandon enjoyed the experience of a lifetime as Flowers invited him on stage to play drums on “For Reasons Unknown”. With his expert-like timing (albeit with a bit of coaching from Vannucci Jr.), Flowers jokingly offered to bring him on tour.
“This song is about yearning for more than what was being offered in Utah in 1996”, Flowers said as he introduced Sam’s Town track “This River Is Wild”. Ever the songwriter to wear his heart on his sleeve, Flowers lived up to his reputation on this night as he occasionally enlightened fans with the meaning behind songs.
As they began their four-song encore, consisting of “The Calling”, “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine”, “When You Were Young”, and megahit “Mr. Brightside”, Flowers went full Vegas with a sparkly gold suit and aviator sunglasses and looked as at home on stage in front of the capacity crowd as he would be wandering the strip.
Opener Alex Cameron played a brief five-song, synthpop-infused set that consisted of tracks from both his 2013 debut album, Jumping The Shark, and his 2017 sophomore album, Forced Witness.
With just Cameron and his “saxophonist and business partner” Roy Molloy on stage due to the remaining band members being stuck in a blizzard in New York, the Sydney, Australia-based singer reminisced about how the twosome began their careers together when “we first played gigs in bars where they paid us in food and vodka.” If you’re into artists like Porches, Future Islands, or Cut Copy, be sure to check out Alex Cameron.
The Killers Set-List
1. Wonderful Wonderful
2. The Man
3. Somebody Told Me
5. The Way It Was
6. Run for Cover
7. I Can’t Stay
8. Smile Like You Mean It
9. For Reasons Unknown (with fan from audience, Brandon, on drums)
10. Shot at the Night (dedicated to Brandon, the fan who played drums on For Reasons Unknown)
12. Life to Come (false start)
14. This River Is Wild
15. A Dustland Fairytale
16. Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits cover)
18. Read My Mind
19. All These Things That I’ve Done
20. The Calling
21. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
22. When You Were Young
23. Mr. Brightside (extended outro)