REVIEW: The Killers at Capital FM Arena, Nottingham - 03/11/12

LUCY NEEDHAM went along to review The Killers live at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham.

As the unmistakable opening chords of Mr Brightside ring out through the Capital FM arena the atmosphere bursts with blissful hysteria and just a tinge of confusion.

With no pre-show build up and the house lights defiantly remaining on, The Killers opener looks like an extremely charismatic sound check.

Warm ups don’t get much better than this.

Mr Brightside, the song that threatens to be bigger than the band itself, is dealt with quickly. Having swiftly got one of the biggest indie anthems of the last ten years out of the way, The Killers dim the lights and proceed to thrill the crowd of indie lovers with the kind of performance that has firmly established them as festival favourites and arena veterans.

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    It has been four years since The Killers last toured the UK and they are back in Nottingham with a bang – quite literally.

    The production features glitter canons, cascading fireworks and billowing smoke – everything you would expect from a Las Vegas rock band.

    New album Battle Born is a strong return to their Nevada roots with tales of broken dreams, desert drives and doomed romance.

    Eight years since their acclaimed debut album Hot Fuss showcased their 80’s synth-spangled sound The Killers have moved on from introspective anglophile to cinematic Americana.

    While the more unfamiliar album tracks are not greeted with quite the same adoration as crowd favourites like Smile Like You Mean It and Human, the roaring percussions and big choruses on their fourth studio album are totally infectious and made for arenas like this.

    Brandon Flowers is still everything you could want from an indie rock front man.

    Clad in a leather jacket and skinny jeans he looks the part and has the talent to prove it. He sings out from behind his lightning-bolt adorned keyboard, struts across platforms and gets up close with the smitten audience.

    Flowers summons enough energy and charisma for every one of his band members who are happy enough to let him steal the show.

    Unlike many of their contemporaries of the indie rock explosion of the noughties, The Killers continue to make new music and fill arenas. With classics Jenny Was A Friend of Mine and All These Things That I’ve Done saved for the encore along with new album track Battle Born, The Killers end with a reminder that they’ve got the tunes and the drive to remain on top.

    By Lucy Needham