The Killers 10/1/16

(a) setlist

Sam’s Town:

    1. Sam’s Town
    2. Enterlude
    3. When You Were Young
    4. Bling (Confession of a King)
    5. For Reasons Unknown
    6. Read My Mind
    7. Uncle Jonny
    8. Bones
    9. My. List
    10. This River Is Wild
    11. Why Do I Keep Counting?
    12. Exitlude

Encore:

    1. Mr. Brightside
    2. The Way It Was
    3. Spaceman
    4. Human
    5. Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
    6. Somebody Told Me
    7. A Dustland Fairytale
    8. Runaways
    9. All These Things That I’ve Done

(b) highlights

  • just being able to attend this show at all was one for the books. The entire Sam’s Town Extravaganza weekend was a privilege in every sense.
  • I fully expected the band to come out and play the exact same setlist as the previous night so it was nothing short of a gift that they changed things up and even played  a longer set. Bonus points for playing acoustic “Human” for the VIP on the night I didn’t have VIP. Avoided that mess, praise! (Just kidding. But not really.)
  • it was nice to be able to actually watch “Sam’s Town” without sobbing through it like the previous night – I don’t think I’ll ever get over those confetti cannons and curtain-projection scene. That is a Moment with a capital M in every way.
  • for the first time in a long time, I got to spend a good portion of the show in front of David Brent Keuning, aka the dude in the band who accidentally became the most underrated? Like when the hell did that I happen, I don’t understand this fandom. Dave is everything and we should all be lucky he graces us with his guitar solos every night.
  • sometimes Ronnie is incredible and wonderful, and sometimes Ronnie is incredible and wonderful. This night he was incredible and wonderful, if you know what I mean.
  • it’s always a GREAT night when you get to hear “The Way It Was” – why the band briefly stopped playing that song live, I will never understand, but bless it for returning.
  • got to spend pretty much the whole show with my girl Rikki, who I almost always get separated from once shows start. She worships DBK and it was amazing getting to watch the show, in a sense, through her eyes. Long live Dave and long live Rikki.
  • Brandon was exceptionally emotional during “A Dustland Fairytale” – this always seems to happen at Vegas shows and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.
  • right at the encore, Mark uncharacteristically walked toward center stage and raised both fists in the air before walking off. It felt like everyone in the venue cheered extra loud when he did that and it made me so happy.
  • the band closing with “All These Things That I’ve Done” brought me back to Hot Fuss days when they used to end every show with it. I got soul but I’m a soldier, baby.

(c) lowlights

  • please god anyone on earth, Bueller, anyone anyone please let me know who I have to speak to in the band/management/anyone to get these dudes to please stop playing “Shadowplay,” I will pay out of pocket, I will do everyone’s laundry for a month, please, throw me a lifeline.
  • (note: I love Joy Division and really like “Shadowplay” but it’s been nine years. Nine. Okay, end mini-rant that I know I’m not at all alone in, The Killers are perfect and it’s fine.)

(d) overall thoughts

Getting to see Night 2 of this Sam’s Town Extravaganza is one of those experiences that I’ll look back on in 5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years and say, Wait, was that real? Did we actually see that? Damn, we saw that. We had general admission tickets, sat in line, chatted the afternoon away, floated on clouds from the night before, and let the night take hold. Turns out it was quite the adventure.

Through luck, charm, grace, and opportunity, my friend and I got super sick spots during the show and rode the Sam’s Town wave from 2006 and beyond. The people around us were Victims from literally all around the world and it was pretty cool getting to know most them and letting the goddamn-American-as-hell confetti rain down on us from above. Sam’s Town was just as pitch-perfect and exhausting as the previous night and the band felt slightly more loose playing it. Everyone lost it during “Sam’s Town,” “When You Were Young,” “Bling,” “Bones,” and “This River Is Wild,” and very few moved during “Uncle Jonny,” “My List,” and “Why Do I Keep Counting?” but what can you do? In the words of Brandon Flowers, I had my dancing shoes on and Sam’s Town was a real rattlesnake from beginning to end.

I was so delirious that by the time Ronnie started drumming the intro to “The Way It Was,” I thought it was actually “From Here On Out,” and nearly passed out in blind rage. Luckily, good ole Dave took it away with that slick and reality-lifting guitar intro and we all survived. (I actually don’t hate “From Here On Out,” but do we really need to hear it again? No.) Brandon gave an intro after “Human” that really led me to believe the band was FINALLY going to play “Sweet Talk” and I nearly died. But no. It was just “Shadowplay.” Heavy sigh. Getting to hear “A Dustland Fairytale,” which the band skipped over the night before, was a real treat in every sense. If your heart isn’t bursting at the “and the decades disappear like sinking ships, but we persevere, God gives us hope, but we still fear what we don’t know,” then you’re lying. “All These Things That I’ve Done” felt more triumphant than ever, truly a marked moment of accomplishment and experience after the night wound down. You can hear these songs again and again – and I have – but I promise you they both feel like greeting old friends you haven’t seen in awhile and new, clean breaths of fresh air. Every show is familiar, but every show is different. Every feeling is real and every memory sticks to your brain like putty. You can’t easily forget about these guys.

Bottom line: Despite what the naysayers may have said 10 years ago, or what people might even say now about a band like The Killers, you can’t deny that there is heart, passion, and an unforgettable quality to the music, the band, and the experience. I treasure every note, every song (yes, even “Shadowplay”…), every moment, and every show because I – like the many before me and the many after me – love this band and their music more than words could allow. If that’s the only thing I could take away from something like the Sam’s Town Extravaganza, then I think I still won.

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