The Killers show last Thursday at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center was one for the ages. Not only was it arguably the ‘biggest’ show the venue has held to date, but it sold out in record time. It was also one of the best shows the area has seen.
The evening started out with opening act Joywave, a Rochester-based indie pop outfit who played a solid seven song setlist. Their sound was polished and radio ready, with their front man delivering strong vocals backed by catchy synths.
With only a 25 minute set change, The Killers took the stage, opening with one of their biggest hits, “When We Were Young,” while the house lights were still on. The band immediately displayed a level of energy that didn’t dissipate throughout the entire show. Early on, singer Brandon Flowers even remarked about one of the songs hitting a decade in age, yet the entire band’s enthusiasm for those old staples didn’t seem to wane in all that time.
Halfway through their set they covered CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising,” much to the delight of the parents in the crowd, but more confusing to the band’s younger following it seemed. Flowers even addressed the persistent whispers over the band’s alleged demise following their announcement of a hiatus last year, commenting that, “Sometimes when you take a little time off, you worry people will forget about you, but you’re still here! “ It was clear from the electricity in the venue that night that no one had forgotten about The Killers. Even on the lesser-known songs, a large majority of the crowd was singing every word.
Prior to closing out their set with “All These Things That I Have Done,” Flowers recalled working at Gold Coast casino in Vegas, where the band began, and calling his drummer during his shift and leaving messages on his answering machine with lyric ideas, one of them being ‘you know you gotta help me out,’ which became the basis for their third hit single off of their debut album.
The band returned for a three song encore after a few minutes of deafening cheering for them to return to the stage with “Shot At The Night,” the lead single from last year’s compilation album. Next up was an amazing rendition off of “Jenny Was a Friend Of Mine,” which immediately drew a huge response from the crowd and ended up being the best of their set. Rounding out the evening was their first single, “Mr. Brightside,” which had the crowd jumping and singing along, leaving most sweaty and wanting more. After the song came to a crescendo and the show ended, drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. waiting on the stage until everyone else left and stood at the microphone until the crowd finally quieted. He told the crowd, defiant against break-up rumors and solidifying their return to the scene, “Tell all your friends.”