The Killers take fans on a journey of highs and lows, new and old

The Killers at UBC Thunderbird Stadium, 11/6/17

Photo courtesy of DIY, by Rob Loud.

The Killers delivered a sensational Vegas-born experience to a sold-out crowd Wednesday night (Dec. 6) at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium in support of their forthcoming album Wonderful Wonderful. Even though only half of the rock group is still touring – frontman Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. – the touring party operated at full capacity.

Sounds of hypnotic synth and a piercing bass line filled the dark arena as the band took the stage. A montage of lightning, rain and desserts appeared on a cinematic screen. The restless crowd illuminated as the Killers opened with Wonderful Wonderful’s intense title track, creating an almost post-apocalyptic atmosphere.

The theatrical introduction was followed by heavily contrasted vibrant and energetic performance of “The Man.” The group was not shy to showcase the range on their new album and the crowd came alive as Flowers grooved between the symbols of male and female iconography that occupied the stage.

For the next two-hours the audience would be taken on a rollercoaster of emotion as the band steered through 13 years of dark ballads, energetic sing-alongs, and hard-hitting motivational wisdom. The refreshing contrast of musical compositions kept crowd excitement high all night long.

“There’s nothing wrong with the small town I grew up in, but I’m working hard up here so you never send me back,” said Flowers midway through the night, commanding the sea of fans with his effortless showmanship, sparkly wardrobes, funky dance moves, and ever so clean vocal abilities.

As expected, the night’s climatic moments revolved around the iconic hits of “Somebody Told Me,” “Human” and other classics off the band’s debut album Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town, reminding the crowd just how potent the Killers were in their prime.

Though the drumming acted as the band’s heartbeat from start to finish, Vannucci, Jr. took the reigns on the 80s-inspired melodic hit “Shot At The Night.” The engaging synth build-ups, followed by impressive drum breakdowns put Vannucci, Jr. front and centre, and boy could he captivate an audience. “Vancouver you’re so good to me” he said after ending the show with an impressive drum solo.

The stage setup and special effects contributed significantly to the big-music vibe. Numerous confetti pops blew throughout the show, and a waterfall of sparks fell behind the band during “When You Were Young.” It was truly a visual masterpiece.

Last but not least, after two hours of epic artistry, the Killers closed with “Mr. Brightside.” The crowd’s singing overpowered the band and, finally, that nostalgic feeling every fan dreams about set in.