It has been awhile since The Killers were on tour, due the pandemic, but it was worth the wait! ‘Twas a beautiful night in San Francisco and the Chase Center was ready to go. There were so many fans lining up to go inside, as well as lines for the merchandise. On the outside, the Chase Center is very modern, with many places to drink and eat underneath a huge screen hanging above the main entrance. Behind the Chase Center is the bay water with a great view. Many fans were wearing Killers T-shirts with their album covers.
There were a lot of fans taking selfies around the Golden State Warriors decor, too.
Johnny Marr started off the show with the driving and pulsating “Armatopia” and The Smiths’ “Panic”, which had a fun and interesting beat. He later asked the audience, “Has anybody got any requests?” A few moments later, he played Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle”. Marr finished his set with another Smiths classic, “How Soon Is Now?”
When members of The Killers walked onstage, the fans went nuts. Everyone in the building stood up at once, as if we were all rising for a judge in court. It was pretty cool to see all the fans excited and ready to embrace The Killers. Moments later, lead singer Brandon Flowers walked onstage to start off the night with “My Own Soul’s Warning” from their 2021 Imploding The Mirage album. In the middle of the song, there was an explosion of confetti that showered the crowd — both awesome and unexpected. Normally confetti showers are for the last song, not the first song, but The Killers had other plans.
A few minutes later, they played fan-favorite “When You Were Young”; singing all the lyrics, the fans were screaming, dancing and having a great time. After a few more songs, Flowers addressed the crowd concerning the last couple of years: “COVID brought a lot of uncertainty. COVID forced a lot of isolation,” Flowers said, before declaring, “ain’t no isolating tonight. This is a super-spreader event! We’re spreading peace, we’re spreading love and we’re spreading rock-and-roll. Come and get it now.” The crowd cheered, roared and clapped after.
It was great to see original band members, including guitarist Dave Keuning and drummer Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. There were other musicians that played the piano, bass, violin, as well as three backup female singers. Everyone was in rhythm and the acoustics at the Chase Center was perfect.
Flowers rarely stood still, skipping and walking here and there around the stage. On “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” (off Hot Fuss), he paced along a row of onstage monitors. His vocalizations sounded like U2’s “Vertigo”. The band followed that with another fan-favorite “Smile Like You Mean It”; Flowers was playing the electric keyboard and was jamming out with the beginning chords of the song.
Before they played “Human”, Flowers was talking on the microphone, but he sounded like a robot; fortunately, everything he was saying was displayed on the giant screen behind the stage. He ended his talk with “Are We Human?”… the fans went nuts yet again. They started playing “Human” and the giant screen turned into outer space, then an empty road on earth with a beautiful skyline. It was very triply and psychedelic. After they finished “Human”, Flowers told the crowd they are from Las Vegas and the screen displayed the strip in Vegas. The timing was perfect. Seconds later, the guitar riff of “Somebody Told Me” played and the crowd screamed!
This was the loudest roar of the night, as every lyric was sung in perfect unison.
After more great songs and sing-alongs to other hits, including “Runaway”, “Read My Mind” and “Caution”, they played “All These Things That I’ve Done”. During the bridge of the song, Flowers got the fans involved: he sang “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier” before pointing the mic toward the crowd to sing it right back. It was very loud and consistent.
After leaving the stage temporarily, the band came back to play a “Spaceman” encore. After, they brought Johnny Marr back onstage to play yet another Smiths song — one band that apparently had a huge influence on The Killers. Then they ended the night with their biggest hit to date, “Mr. Brightside”. What an amazing evening… I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!
Photography by Rob Loud