The Killers – UIC Pavillion (Chicago) – 12/21/12

22 Dec

Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but there’s this band, you see, and quite often I refer to them as my 4th favorite band…of all time.

Then I start to think, gosh, do I really like them that much?  Or do I just want to like them that much?

What changes everything is that battery recharge, the live show.  The Killers do this to me every time.  A person gets a little insecure when they rate an album #1 every year and no one else does, ya’know?

Anyways, after about 1 hour and 50 minutes of pure musical bliss, I’m back.  The Killers absolutely floored me tonight and it was worth the real-world stress involved in getting to the show.

The mood for the night was set before The Killers even took the stage, as R.E.M.’s perennial doomsday diss blared across the arena’s speakers.

I had hoped for two things considering the date of this show: 1) They would acknowledge the date and rock the house and 2) They would play a few of their Christmas songs (they have five and this is their last show before Christmas).  I didn’t get my second wish, but the first more than made up for it.

The Venue:

Little known fact: Brandon Flowers is an excellent Corner Back for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Little known fact: Brandon Flowers is an excellent Corner Back for the Kansas City Chiefs.

This was my first visit to the UIC Pavilion.  Unfortunately, it won’t be my last.  I say unfortunately because that venue is too small for shows like this.  There’s not enough room in the concourses, there’s not enough room for the acoustics, there’s just flat-out not enough room.

I really am going to blame the venue for the mixing issues tonight, as there was definitely a lot of moments where it seemed like there just wasn’t enough room for all the sounds (and there were many) to go.

The Show: This was my 3rd time seeing The Killers, but the first time on their own ground and not at a festival.

Surprisingly enough, it was very like their festival shows.  They were still using the same Windows Media Player effects from the last tour (I know it sounds cheesy, but they’re actually kind of fun), but there was the excellent addition of lasers.  I love lasers, and there we so. many. lasers!

Cool background, bro.

Cool background, bro.

The setlist was phenomenal, really. A nice representation of the new album, mixed with a lot of the classic hits.  As I said previously, I was disappointed in the lack of Christmas songs and I would have really liked to have heard “A Matter of Time” from the new one, rather than “The Rising Tide”, but what can you do?

The Setlist:

  1. (It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) over Loudspeakers) Mr. Brightside
  2. The Way it Was
  3. Smile Like You Mean It
  4. Spaceman
  5. Heart of A Girl (snippet)/Bling (Confessions of a King)
  6. Miss Atomic Bomb
  7. Human
  8. Somebody Told Me
  9. Here With Me
  10. For Reasons Unknown
  11. From Here on Out
  12. A Dustland Fairytale/Baby I’m Yours (Snippet)
  13. Read My Mind
  14. Runaways
  15. When You Were Young *ENCORE*
  16. Rising Tide
  17. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
  18. All These Things That I’ve Done

The Ugly: The mixing was really bad as I’ve mentioned.  The bass and drums were really loud, which was great for Mark and Ronnie, but for the synthesizers and a lot of guitar parts, it was definitely overpowering.

This became the most obvious during the last two songs of the night, as both of them were Hot Fuss songs, and relied heavily on synthesizers and musical effects.  I couldn’t even tell that “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” was on until about 30 seconds in, because I could not hear the introduction.

The Bad: There wasn’t much that fell into the bad category.  The only real clunker of a tune was “The Rising Tide”, which, on the album, I love, but as an encore opener, it just wasn’t doing it.

“Heart of a Girl” was a little out of place, but thankfully they didn’t play the whole thing.

Then there’s “Here With Me”.  It’s a painfully cheesy song and I did find myself shuffling my feet more than once, but it wasn’t too bad.

The Good: Really, the whole show fits in here.  If I’m being honest.  It was one of the best I’ve attended this year.  Plain fun, a lot of nice crowd interaction, Brandon was enjoying telling a few stories here and there (though I was confused by his assertion that “A Dustland Fairytale” is about the passing of his mother, I’d never heard that before, I thought “So Long, Travel Well” was about her death).

The great thing about tonight, though, hands down, was crowd reaction.  The crowd was in to this show.  First, I thought “Mr. Brightside” had the best reaction.  Then “Somebody Told Me” had an even bigger reaction.  There were also huge reactions for “Spaceman”, and “Human”, but surprisingly enough, the biggest crowd reaction may have been to “Runaways”.

Even if it had not initially been a huge crowd-pleaser (it was), there was no denying how powerful it was by the end.  In fact, “When You Were Young” got the smallest amount of crowd participation I have yet witnessed (it was still intense), simply, I believe, because everyone was too worn out from “Runaways” to keep dancing and jumping around.

The encore may have started slow, but Jenny and All These Things back to back left me winded by the end of the show and I was almost ready to go home.

That’s an outright lie, I had an amazing time, and I knew from the second song there was never going to be a possibility in the world they could play enough songs to leave me satisfied.

My only regrets from tonight were a lack of Christmas and no “A Matter of Time”.  A great night and the best concert I’ve seen since I saw Prince a few months ago (Prince was better).

What was really heartening to see tonight, despite their recent “hiatus” was the band all joining together.  Dave (lead guitar) was featured quite heavily on a few numbers, and Brandon shared the mic with him more than once.  Obviously Ronnie (Drums) was given a great deal of attention as he is a fan favorite, and incredibly talented.  And on bass, Mark was given a sweet little solo right before “Somebody Told Me” (though that horrible mixing almost made it impossible to tell what they were playing).

Overall, an incredible night and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to see them on their own, finally.  It was well worth the wait.



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