The Killers Bring their Audience to the ‘Brightside’


Annisyn Krebs-Carr

The Killers perform in St. Louis on March 22.

Annisyn Krebs-Carr, Staff writer

Electricity pulsed through the stadium as the lights began to dim, signaling what could only mean the start of the concert. The audience who had been murmuring and waiting in anticipation since the opening act, immediately erupted into cheers as the screen behind the stage illuminated, revealing the Imploding the Mirage album cover in a swirl of brilliant colors. 

“We hope you enjoyed your stay,” lead singer Brandon Flowers said as he walked out onto the stage in a purple suit, a smile plastered on his face and sweat already beaded on his forehead.

The piano melody tentatively followed suit, before finally emerging from its shyness, guiding the lyrics of popular Sam’s Town song, “Enterlude.”

“We hope you enjoyed your stay,” he echoed again, this time singing it, his smile growing bigger as the audience roared with admiration. 

I don’t listen to The Killers. I know who they are, who doesn’t, they’re arguably one of the biggest rock bands from the 2000s. But besides knowing “Mr. Brightside,” “When You Were Young” and maybe a few others that I heard incessantly on the radio during my youth, I don’t listen to them.

But it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to know the music to be completely immersed in the concert atmosphere, as confetti shot from the ceiling and red and green lasers beamed into the crowd. 

I didn’t have to know the music to be entranced with Flowers’ voice, rich and cool, with a rough edge from all of his years on the stage. 

And I didn’t have to know the music to have fun. 

And you can tell that for Flowers it was about having fun. The smile never once faltered on his face, his eyes gleaming with excitement as he jumped and ran across the stage, making it seem like he was 20, and not 20 years older.

But despite the physicality of the performance, he sounded good. Somewhat breathy at times and forgoing some high notes which he knew he could not reach, his voice flowed through the stadium, intertwining effortlessly with the insistent melody of the guitar.

As the guitar groaned and screeched, I could feel the energy in the stadium shift in anticipation; the shriek of the chords indicating the beginning of “When You Were Young,” the audience screaming with immediate recognition. 

“You sit there in your heartache,” Flowers sang, the audience singing along, perfectly in time and perfectly in pitch. I could feel the beat of the drum from the floor, the sound coursing through me in waves, and Flowers’ booming voice echoing throughout the stadium. 

It didn’t matter that my legs hurt after hours of standing, or that the air in the stadium was hot and sticky. The atmosphere fully embraced me; the lights and the melodies guiding me through both the songs that I did and didn’t know.

As Flowers sang slower songs like, “Be Still,” his voice filled with deep sincerity although never once lacking in volume. He sang with a kind of passion that couldn’t be faked, as his voice faltered and strained to reach the highest notes. But the cracks and the faults weren’t a weakness, and they didn’t take away from the performance. They were a reminder of who The Killers are, and how far they’ve come. 

And though it was nostalgic at times, as Flowers sang their biggest hits from 20 years ago, looking back fondly on all of their accomplishments, the nostalgia wasn’t overwhelming. The concert wasn’t a memorial to their old albums or who The Killers once were, it was a celebration of who they are now, and all that is to come. A mixture of the new and the old, and a beautiful mixture it was.

Flowers grinned as the familiar strum of “Mr. Brightside” began in what would be the final song of the night. “Coming out of my cage, and I’ve been doing just fine,” he crooned into the microphone, not missing a beat. The audience danced, swinging their arms and jumping around on the confetti and empty cups that lay crumpled on the ground, screaming the lyrics to the song that everyone knows. 

When I left the stadium, “Mr. Brightside,” still rang in my ears.