By Ellie Tyson
Photography: Rob Loud @robloud
Four years since their last Manchester show, The Killers were back last night playing to a packed out stadium at Manchester Arena for the release of their fifth studio album, Wonderful Wonderful.
The buzz, anticipation and excitement was felt through the room as soon as support act, Alex Cameron, left the stage. The crowd’s energy was replicated by the band as they emerged on stage member by member with frontman Brandon Flowers appearing last accompanied by a roar from the fans as the band jumped straight into their set with the title track from the new album, Wonderful Wonderful.
The band played six tracks from the new album with the funky, bass-led lead single ‘The Man’ being the second song. Other songs included ‘Tyson vs. Douglas’, ‘Rut’ and ‘The Calling’, the latter in which the band opened their encore with and Flowers reappeared on stage after a suit change into a dazzling gold sparkly number.
Flowers’ charisma and liveliness were felt from his stage presence throughout the show, constantly interacting with the crowd and making it clear why he is so well loved as a frontman by fans. This enthusiasm from him made for the show to be even more enjoyable, there’s just something about watching a musician with that much passion do what they clearly love the most.
Despite being a show for their newest album, The Killers other four albums were certainly not forgotten. With four songs each from both Sam’s Town and Day&Age and five from their most popular album Hot Fuss, both new material and old fan favourites were showcased. It was these fan favourites that were arguably the highlights of the night, just the first few bars of 2004 hit ‘Somebody Told Me’ as the third song in the set was enough to send the crowd wild.
The bands biggest hits from over the years such as ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, ‘When You Were Young’ and of course, ‘Mr Brightside’ were what really gave the arena an unmistakable electric feel with Flowers often holding the mic to the audience to hear them scream their most well-known choruses back at him.
The band only played two songs from their Battle Born album but the most special moment of the night came from ‘Be Still’, a slower, more emotional song in comparison to the rest of the set. Before this was played, Flowers expressed his love for the city of Manchester and made the song a tribute to the victims of the Ariana Grande concert bombing that occurred at the same venue six months ago.
“Manchester you’ve given us so much. You’ve supported us from the very beginning. Given us Joy Division and New Order, you gave us The Smiths and Oasis. This has always been our musical home. This next one goes out to everybody that we lost and left behind,” explained Flowers in a heartfelt gesture which was clearly appreciated by the crowd as a sea of flashlights filled the room as the song played.
Homage was also paid to Joy Division when the band did a cover of Shadowplay, adapting the song from new-wave/post-punk and giving a more modern pop/rock interpretation which worked surprisingly well.
Overall, The Killers 22 song set gave something for all fans old and new and the entire show proved just why they’ve remained one of the biggest, well-loved bands of the last 13 years.