The Killers

When you were young, the only song I remember from The Killers , second album Sam’s town, well summarizes these pictures.
Even if these “kids” are still in their 20s, during the last 3 years, from an American group which left their motherland in search of UK fame, they have become one of the hottest acts worldwide.

The Killers

When the Killers headlined the UK NME tour in February 2005 it looked English music was infiltrating so deeply into the States that the best “Brit-poppy” album was recorded in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Their music was so much into New-new wave era, I had to double check to be convinced they were really American. I could understand the likes of NY citizens as the Strokes or Interpol, “just” an Atlantic crossing away, but grey Manchester winning over the sunny desert and inspiring a band on the west side was unexpected.

Clearly their debut, Hot Fuss, is deep-rooted into the British islands golden age of 80s’ pop. Put it on, close your eyes and you see Duran Duran jamming with U2 to show the Cure how to arrange a New Order cover. That second hand book of pop song recipes they found on a flea Vegas market was clearly published in the Midlands. Brandon Flowers admits himself that it was a 2000 Oasis concert in a Casino to inspire him to write music…blame the Gallaghers!

The Killers

On stage Brandon Flowers, black suit white tie, shaved, blinking his “black eyeliner” eyes at his ecstatic audience is perfectly fitting that “glorious indie rock’n’roll” image he sings about. Their music was the perfect balance between indie-guitars meet pop-dance, including (quite easy with just one album out) all the best bits. As a bonus, Pink Floyds’ Time is transformed into a disco tune that made me start singing! The only Vegas bit I could spot was their name designed on the background by hundreds of light bulbs and the kitsch, fake jewellery glued on Brandon’s synth.

Quite clearly everyone from the fans to the music-biz spotted them. Four months later they were famous enough to be asked to replace the dramatic Kylie defection as Glastonbury headliners. They modestly declined, but in few weeks Bob Geldof fought to have them on stage at least for one song on the Hyde Park Live8 branch. Imagine to appear in front of hundred thousands people, with hundreds of millions watching at you on TV. Your future is all on a 4 minutes performance.
Well, that version of All These Things That I’ve Done, not only outclassed Snow Patrol appeared before them and Joss Stone after, but still is one of the peaks of that night.
The right time was arrived to think big, go back and “win the(ir) West”.

The Killers

The world has been waiting impatient for the second album. Cleverly spread rumours that it was going to be “different” and much more R.E.M., Springsteenesque American, intrigued many people, including me.
When Brandon Flowers reappeared he had forgot the mascara at home. With moustaches, waistcoat and a black skinny tie, his Mormon look was definitely American but also quite bizarre from this side of the Ocean.

Sam’s town is definitely a more USA oriented release in the U2’s Joshua tree/Rattle and Hum philosophy before them. Not surprisingly Anton Corbijn signs the album artwork. I can understand the States are the biggest music market and following Duran Duran footstep too long can bring you in obscure territories, but the new songs lost the debut catchiness and never managed to seduce me. Beyond When You Were Young the only that would fit in their debut, the rest sounds so anonymous that a thousands listenings behind, I still cannot name another title. The same Las Vegas feeling that 50 million tourists enjoy every year experience walking The Strip, forced to believe that the Tour Eiffel is cross the street to Bellagio, a walk away from the Colosseum and not far from Giza Pyramid, gives me this impression of being cheated by a fake music that beyond the glossy and majestic appearance lost its soul.
Don’t worry, It must be me. the Killers’ world tour supporting Sam’s Town make them huge every corner of the world. With confidence this time they headlined Glastonbury as well as all the European Festival, the album charted Billboard and big arenas constantly sell out.

The Killers

Fans were so much in need of new material that for 2007 Christmas, with only two albums on their CV, they published a B-sides and rarities CD, Sawdust, which includes a Lou Reed cameo, a Dire Straits and a Joy Division cover.
Manchester is still in their heart, but their music moved away from mine. I still keep memory of that NME tour, that was opened by the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party and the Futurhead. All blown up at home by an Nevada indie-pop act. Three years on The Killers, as The Strokes and Interpol, are probably showing that at the end of the day best Brit Music is done in Britain by Brit bands.
After all it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Listen to them here [myspace] [website]

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~ by Valerio on January 11, 2008.

6 Responses to “The Killers”

  1. Hi Vale, very very good place to read and to look at.
    I’m not so used to comment in English but you give us an occasion to do it and I’m glad of this.
    I don’t appreciate Killers too much but I’ll take your advice to download Semi Precious Weapons, if I will be able….
    Have a nice night.

  2. Hi Diamond,
    well, your English is perfect and I’m happy to read you. You can always write in Italian if you like, I would understand, mostly me though!
    Enjoy Semi Precious Weapons, you should like them…I’ll let you (and everybody else) know about their first UK concerts soon here.

  3. Ciao Valerio non conosco i Killer ma vedrò di farlo, comunque complimenti veramente per queste foto sono splendide!

  4. OffTopic: Ho letto il report e visto le foto di QOTSA, Eagles e Bjork; poi ho fatto un salto sul tuo “corporate site”… che dire? Davvero complimenti di cuore per quello che ho dedotto essere il tuo mestiere; foto strepitose, un eccellente visione d’insieme dell’inquadratura e del dettaglio, un pathos che comunque riesce a venire fuori (soprattutto dai bianco/nero) nelle più svariate circostanze.
    Per deformazione professionale quelle dei concerti sono anche quelle che mi soffermo maggiormente a guardare, e non fanno eccezione questi scatti sui Killers (sui quali ad ogni modo non sono ferrato).
    Tornerò a trovarti senza dubbio alcuno!

  5. beautiful images. so glad someone still shoots on film.

  6. 動物の距離や快適さを尊重します。あなたは、彼が離れて飛ぶ鳥に近づきすぎることができない子として知っています。だから、信頼関係を確立することが必要です。まず、それをかなりの距離に注意してください。彼は、あなたの周りの人を持っていて、脅威を与えていないかどうかを確認するためにそれを見ることを理解するであろう。その瞬間、いくつかの時間のために、まだ動かサイレントに立って、彼女は彼はあなたが少し近づくことができる実現する前に、何をやっていた行うために戻ってきた場合、および手順を繰り返します。時間によって、あなたはハングアップを取得します!

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