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Tuesday September 24, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 12:37:01 PM
by tashny sukumaran
Read my mind: The Killers' enigmatic frontman Brandon Flowers (right) spurring on guitarist Dave Keuning as the band ran the crowd ragged at its show in Sepang, Kuala Lumpur.
The Killers took fans on a joy ride in Sepang, Selangor.
AMERICAN indie rock act The Killers delivered an amazing show at the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor on Sunday night in what may possibly be the best concert on Malaysian shores this year.
This gig had been a long time coming for music fans, as The Killers is regarded as one of the major names from the indie music revival in the last 10 years.
In the flesh, frontman Brandon Flowers’ signature croon hit all the right notes as he took the crowd on an emotional rollercoaster ride, from the uplifting Human to the sinister and oh-so-popular Mr Brightside; navigating bittersweet hooks and catchy choruses with style and confidence.
Flowers, complete with leather jacket (which he took off after the first tune) and Las Vegas showbiz slickness, was in the mood to party in Sepang.
Not many international rock bands would have attracted a crowd to Sepang on a Sunday night – but The Killers proved it could hold its own with a headlining show. According to promoters Future Sound Asia, the attendance for The Killers show was close to 7,000, which featured a mix of young college-going fans and an older rock crowd.
As expected, Flowers was the life of the party. The 37-year-old vocalist was backed up by Dave Keuning on guitar, Ronnie Vannucci Jr on the drums and Jake Blanton filling in for Mark Stoermer on the bass, while the latter recovers from a back injury.
Although the setlist missed a couple of the stronger songs from 2012’s studio album Battle Born such as Miss Atomic Bomb (commonly dubbed as a sequel to the iconic Mr Brightside) and title track Battle Born, The Killers delivered a consistently excellent set that had fans dancing and singing along at the outdoor venue.
Crowd-pleasers on the night included the evocative Runaways, the nostalgic and beautiful A Dustland Fairytale and of course, the anthemic All These Things I’ve Done of “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” fame. With four albums to its name, The Killers had enough material to keep the fans going.
Driven by tunes mostly inspired by the band’s hometown Las Vegas – with themes of redemption, lust, sin, love and desert other-worldliness – and more, The Killers’ music made an epic connection here. Also encouraging the crowd to sing along was the curiously optimistic The Way It Was and the gorgeous tingling Spaceman.
Brandon, as ringleader on stage, engaged with the audience in his straightforward, quick-witted manner – no waffling here and with just the right amount of friendliness.
Instead of the usual boring Malay phrases visiting bands like repeating – “selamat petang, terima kasih” – Brandon repeated Kuala Lumpur’s motto “maju dan makmur” to thunderous applause.
The Killers also performed two covers in a set that ran nearly two hours – a catchy rendition of I Think We’re Alone Now, originally sung by Tommy James and the Shondells, but made popular by 1980s teen pop icon Tiffany, as well as Shadowplay from Brit legends Joy Division, which lent a moody vibe to the concert.
The band also obliged its adoring audience with a three-song encore: This Is Your Life, the bleak Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine and the magnificent When You Were Young.
Screaming along to Human, jumping in time to Mr Brightside, swaying to an atmospherically delicate Read My Mind – fans were hoarse by the end of a show. The setlist also included Smile Like You Mean It, Bling, For Reasons Unknown, and From Here On Out.
With so many major names playing in Malaysia recently (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins), it was good to see that The Killers made its first concert visit here matter.
“I was devastated when The Killers cancelled their concert (in Singapore) in 2010, so I prayed they would come back. Now that they have did, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lifelong mission. I’ve been to many live shows but that was the best concert I’ve ever been to!” said writer Joe K, 27, who was thrilled to catch one of his favourite bands live.
Student Sanjeev Ganesan, 30, thought Brandon Flowers was “amazing.”
“The show was really tight and Brandon didn’t waste loads of time talking. His voice was great.”
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Entertainment, The Killers, Brandon Flowers, Sepang, 2013
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