Better Than: Reruns of Britney at the VMAs.
Saturday night’s concert was an amalgamation of styles. The maddest props of the evening go to 1) the Killers’ production and design team, 2) the fan in his underwear, and 3) all the bands from previous decades, without which there would be no Killers and no Louis XIV.
If the Killers are a band who wear several influences on their sleeves, opening act Louis XIV are robed in a patchwork quilt. A four piece from San Diego, Louis promoted their new EP of songs that could have been lifted from any or all of the following: 80s stadium rock, Rush, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and Jack White. They are not a terrible band. What they lack is a focused sound and the charisma necessary to leave a lasting impression when followed by the Killers’ flamboyance.
Photos by Linda Leseman
The headliners entered with more flair than Jennifer Aniston in Office Space. Masked by an opaque curtain, they played an instrumental prelude to accompany a black and white film projection. After several minutes of pinup girls, tumbleweeds and scenes from their hometown Las Vegas, the Killers entered with a burst of confetti. The effect was impressive. The audience loved it. In that moment, it didn’t matter that one fourth of the Reliant Arena was empty.
Hits like “Somebody Told Me” and “When You Were Young” were present and accounted for. So were the Pet Shop Boys and Freddie Mercury, reincarnated in lead singer Brandon Flowers. His stage presence is undeniably strong, and he rarely misses a note. Flowers’ signature move seems to be standing on top of the monitors. He generates an electricity that is backed solidly by the band. If the other Killers are less magnetic, they are still as tightly wound and deliver a slick set.
Their performance was elevated by superb lighting, and the Killers committed no major crimes Saturday night. Unless one takes into account the fact that their music is essentially a conglomeration of things that came before them—synth pop, androgynous lyrics, the handlebar mustache. Then again, isn’t every band standing on the shoulders of giants? To their credit, the Killers have taken cues from giants worthy of emulation, and the result is a helluva entertaining show.
Now, about that fan in his underwear. Let the photo speak for itself.
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Personal Bias: I was distracted by the rumored origin of “Tulsa” by Rufus Wainwright.
Random Detail: Myra and her sidekick Charlie are the phattest security guards ever to drive a golf cart. Thanks for the ride, pals!
By the Way: The back of those briefs worn by the superfan said “Killers.”
-- Linda Leseman