In the beginning, god created heaven, the earth, and The Killers – or at least that’s the impression you get when the acclaimed Las Vegas-based synthpop outfit kicked off their show last night (Sept 23rd) at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena with a heavenly “Adam and the creator” inspired backdrop.
The Brandon Flowers-led group, who are touring in support of both their 2020 album, Imploding The Mirage, and 2021’s Pressure Machine, had their 2020 tour plans derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and “everything came to this grinding halt,” said frontman Brandon Flowers at the time. But it was that silence and isolation that led to an album that is unlike anything they’ve released in their career. A quiet, and almost calming effort that serves as a stark contrast to their typical electronic sound.
But as Flowers, who on this night donned an outfit reminiscent of a super fancy Vegas magician (in a good way) complete with sparkly blazer and shiny shirt, said during the show, “ain’t no one in isolation tonight. This is a superspreader event. We’re spreading peace, love and rock and roll.” You felt a sense of community during their set, like we’re all just people looking to be distracted from the dumpster fire that is the world right now.
As is practically tradition at Killers shows these days, Flowers and co. pulled a fan out of the crowd to play drums on “For Reasons Unknown”. There were even competing crowd signs of a pair of would-be drummers as they selected a Toronto-based drummer named Tom who honestly could fill in for usual drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. anytime as he kept an impressive beat and even added in some extra fills as well during the crowd favourite song.
The Smiths legend Johnny Marr treated Toronto fans to an opening performance in support of his new double album, Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4, which dropped on February 25th, 2022.
His eight-song set featured a welcomed toss-up of new album cuts (“Spirit Power and Soul”, and “Night and Day”), and Smiths classics (“Panic”, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”, and “How Soon Is Now?”), the latter of which received the biggest pop from the developing crowd.
Despite being mostly known as a straightforward indie rocker, Marr brought a refreshing synthpop sound with him, especially on tracks like the aforementioned “Spirit Power and Soul”, which Marr described as “a disco song from Manchester.” It was great to hear such a varied mix of influences throughout his set from classic Brit rock to a solid electronic vibe. Marr made you feel both like you were in a seedy rock club and also a rave in 1990s Brighton.
Ultimately, The Killers once again brought their signature blend of Vegas showmanship and indie rock swagger. The show was constantly entertaining with an endless parade of hits including millennial anthem “Mr. Brightside”, and with the always charismatic Brandon Flowers leading the charge, it remains a winning formula, and makes this show a must-see.