The Killers – SECC, Glasgow, 26/10/12

It was a welcome return for The Killers tonight as they rolled back into Glasgow for their first concert in three and a half years in support of their latest album, “Battle Born”. The band had been on a lengthy hiatus spending time working on side projects, including frontman Brandon Flowers solo album ‘Flamingo’. The new album shares some of the influences of that record, although there was a welcome return to some of the rockier efforts of the first two albums with tracks such as the Springsteen influenced ‘Runaways’ after the disappointing ‘Day & Age’.

Playing at the SECC (or as Kevin Bridges puts it, “that fucking SECC”!) to a sold out audience was always going to be a test for the opening night of the tour, but the band and crowd were both up for a rowdy Friday night in Glasgow! Personally, I’m a huge fan of The Killers and despite differing levels of disappointment with their latest two records; I was thoroughly looking forward to the concert. The band’s sound has changed significantly since they released ‘Hot Fuss’ in 2004, but I’ve always felt they’re a band that thrive on the stage and their blend of anthemic rock and catchy choruses have always created a thrilling live experience.

Brandon Flowers had mentioned before the tour that he wanted to play their new album in its entirety, an ambition that wasn’t particularly welcomed after the lukewarm reception to it. As it turned out, we got 10 of the 12 tracks from ‘Battle Born’, and to our delight the songs really came to life in the live setting. Opening the evening with new track ‘A Matter of Time’, it soon became apparent that there was never any doubt that this was going to be a terrific night for a Killers fan.

The new tracks all received a great reception, although the best reaction was reserved for fan favourites like ‘Read My Mind’ and the magnificent ‘Jenny was a Friend of Mine’. Flowers was quite chatty throughout, particularly with his preamble to ‘A Dustland Fairytale’, talking of the band’s home city of Las Vegas, and some of the ingredients that have contributed to who they are as people was a nice introduction to one of the rare highlights from third album ‘Day & Age’. The band concluded the main set with lashings of confetti for singalong favourite ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ before returning to the stage for a three track encore. After a low key start with ‘Be Still’, everybody was jumping for hit single “When You Were Young”, before a spectacular rendition of album closing track “Battle Born” finished off the evening with a magnificent firework display.

The set was one of the longest the band has played on these shores, clocking in at just under two hours. Whilst I felt the set order was a little bizarre at times there can be no denying it was a fantastic gig. The glamour, spectacle and showmanship of Las Vegas came to Glasgow tonight for one night only, unfortunately tomorrow its back to James Allan’s grey Glasvegas landscape. Despite the ever growing ticket price this was a performance that will ensure fans of The Killers return to see them the next time they are in Scotland. Unfortunately I suspect this will be at the increasingly dull T in the Park!

  1. A Matter of Time
  2. Flesh and Bone
  3. Smile Like You Mean It
  4. Spaceman
  5. Bling (Confessions of a King)
  6. Miss Atomic Bomb
  7. Human
  8. Here With Me
  9. For Reasons Unknown
  10. The Way It Was
  11. Deadlines and Commitments
  12. Somebody Told Me
  13. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
  14. A Dustland Fairytale
  15. Read My Mind
  16. Runaways
  17. Mr. Brightside
  18. All These Things That I’ve Done
  19. From Here On Out
  20. Be Still
  21. When You Were Young
  22. Battle Born

Luke Watson

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