The Killers 9/20/15

(a) setlist

    1. Mr. Brightside
    2. Spaceman
    3. The Way It Was
    4. Smile Like You Mean It
    5. Bling (Confession of a King)
    6. Human
    7. Somebody Told Me
    8. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
    9. Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
    10. For Reasons Unknown
    11. From Here On Out
    12. A Dustland Fairytale
    13. Read My Mind
    14. Runaways
    15. All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:

  1. This Is Your Life
  2. When You Were Young

(b) highlights

  • just being at the festival when I had no idea I was even going until like 4 days before
  • being in VIP and not having to stand at the barricade all damn day like I have for literally every other festival The Killers have ever played
  • “This Is Your Life” – the accidental incredible song from the otherwise lukewarm Day & Age that always totally kills live
  • the environment of the festival was awesome – breezy, by the beach, great food, fun atmosphere
  • RVJ, Dave’s outfit, and seeing Mark’s elbows
  • Brandon pretending like he understood football and wearing a Chargers jersey for the encore
  • the use of the jumbotron behind the band – I could get used to seeing all their faces that big all the time coming into my view

(c) lowlights

  • the VIP crowd was a w f u l; you know you’re bad when BFlow even calls you out mid-song for not dancing

(d) overall thoughts

 

Didn’t even know there was a music festival in San Diego called Kaaboo until The Killers were headlining. To be honest, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t even a music festival in San Diego called Kaaboo until The Killers were headlining it. The whole festival was practically right on the beach, looking out over the Pacific Ocean, and it was beautiful. My friends and I got stupid lucky with VIP tickets and didn’t have to wait all day in the sun – a true gift after a decade of nearly getting heatstroke at some festival for this band.

The set was usual, but the band was so, so alive and I felt so crazy happy being there. Despite the stage being huge and the band headlining, there was such an intimate feeling to the show. It could be that most of the crowd immediately around me and my friends were bored, unmoving, and, essentially, stupid rich people who didn’t care but watched the show anyway. But because they were stagnant idiots, they effectively disappeared. It felt like the band was on a massive stage with a tiny audience of the 20 or so people who had the best time ever. I remember when “This Is Your Life” began, I started yelling, “None of you boring, rich people deserve to hear this beautiful song!!!!”

Sometimes shows are super awesome when the crowd sucks and you have a great time anyway because the band sounds and looks so perfect.

Bottom line: Costume changes during encores are always a good idea and most rich people don’t know how to dance, but all Brandon Flowers wants is for you to dance, people. Just dance or he will be sassy.

The Killers 9/19/15

(a) setlist

    1. Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley cover)
    2. Under The Gun
    3. Spaceman
    4. The Way It Was
    5. Smile Like You Mean It
    6. Bling (Confession of a King)
    7. Human
    8. Somebody Told Me
    9. For Reasons Unknown
    10. From Here On Out
    11. A Dustland Fairytale
    12. Be Still
    13. Read My Mind
    14. Runaways
    15. All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:

  1. Finding Out True Love Is Blind (Louis XIV cover) (w/ Brian Karscig)
  2. Uncle Jonny
  3. When You Were Young
  4. Mr. Brightside

(b) highlights

  • “Under The Gun,” holllyyyyy shiiiiitttttttt, we lost it
  • “Be Still” – much like the Atlantic City show earlier this year, Brandon dedicated this one to the fans who follow the band around and had really nice things to say; he waved his hands and pointed out the sections of people, which included me and my friends…the gesture meant a lot, to say the least
  • I first discovered Louis XIV in 2005, maybe 2006, because of The Killers and haven’t seen them in years (they broke up circa 2009, if I recall), so it was amazing getting to see Brandon sing “Finding Out True Love Is Blind” with Louis XIV’s guitarist and friend Brian Karscig (he also has a pretty awesome band named The Nervous Records, who opened for Big Talk a few months before this show); my friends and I had the time of our lives, total blast from the past moment seeing this live
  • but seriously, have you ever heard the lyrics to “Finding Out True Love Is Blind”?? those lines are diiiiirtttty, freaking loved hearing Schoolboy Flowers sing those
  • Ronnie Vannucci’s existence
  • “Uncle Jonny” is one of the best Killers songs, it’s criminally underrated, and they completely transform it live – it’s freaking next level
  • the entire show, to be honest – it felt so special, so wonderful, just…everything

(c) lowlights

  • just as the band started “From Here On Out,” Brandon said, “Hey!!! Do you guys still like ‘From Here On Out’????” and I flat out yelled, “BARELY!” Because I am on my last rope with that song, let’s retire this with our dancing shoes, Mr. Flowers. Let it go.

(d) overall thoughts

Every once in a while, you go to a show expecting to have fun, but something so much bigger happens. Somehow, unexpectedly, this show ended up being one of my favorite Killers shows ever. I wasn’t even supposed to go to this show; my friends and I super last-minute caught a cross-country flight using a zillion flight points and ended up at this small venue in San Diego to see our favorite band. It was super hot and we lied on the sidewalk for most of the day waiting in line and weren’t even in the front row (we were third row center!), but, man…that show was amazing.

The band had so much energy, the crowd had so much energy, and I genuinely never knew what song was coming next. Hearing “Under The Gun” live for the first time in – what, 7, 8, 9(?) years, was so emotional and wonderful. It was such a treat, such a gift, that I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. This show in particular was just full of so much joy and happiness and celebration. The band wasn’t touring for anything (this counted as a warm-up show for their Kaaboo Festival performance!), so the crowd was super hungry for them. Considering how, at this point, The Killers hadn’t put out a new album in three years, it felt natural that everyone’s hunger made the venue environment next level. The band seemed so happy and everyone was smiling and in their element. As if I needed reminding, this show really drove home how much I love The Killers and how happy they make me. You can’t forget some experiences like that. This one was one for the books.

 

Bottom line: I love that The Killers can still surprise me after a decade of waiting in line all damn day to see their asses play the same songs I’ve heard a hundred times; 11/10 would do this whole show 50 times over again because it was almost perfect.

Big Talk 7/19/15

(a) setlist

  1. What Happened to Delisa?
  2. La Rue D’Awakening
  3. White Dove
  4. Getaways
  5. Hold That Line
  6. Animal Husband
  7. The Void
  8. Cocktail Party
  9. What The Night Can Do
  10. I’ve Been Sentimental Lately
  11. Living In Pictures
  12. Replica
  13. Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers cover)
  14. Another Satellite
  15. Neon’s Not Enough Light

(b) highlights

  • RVJ, duh
  • that setlist!!! finally got to hear some older Big Talk songs I missed on the first go-around
  • getting to chat with the guys; there is no sweeter person on Earth than Taylor Milne, I swear to God
  • the Casbah is basically a bar – so tiny and so intimate; I get Bunkhouse vibes from it

(c) lowlights

  • there was an asshole drunk heckler yelling during, before, and after songs who I actually had to yell at – who even does that?? at a small intimate show?? go home.
  • the crowd was subdued – why why why why do you pay to go to a concert to not move, why why, I will NEVER understand this

(d) overall thoughts

I was super lucky to even be at this show. My brother was getting married later in the week, so I got to fly back home to LA and took a quick train down to San Diego to see Big Talk. The show was stupidly intimate and small – it was pouring outside and I swore you could hear the rain pattering outside in between songs. The stage was barely a foot off the ground, so you were RIGHT there during the performance. It was freaking cool.

Last time around seeing Big Talk, they played the entirety of their new album Straight In No Kissin’ with one old song, so I was pretty psyched to hear classic tracks like “Getaways” and “Replica,” among others. The newer Big Talk album still hadn’t been released at this point (it came out the next day!), but I still strangely felt so familiar with all the new music. A mix of Tom Petty, perhaps even the Beach Boys, and the usual Big Talk sound combined to make that good ole fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. Ronnie’s voice worked perfectly with those tunes and it was clear that all the guys played well together; wordless head nods and seamless transitions gave off a solid jam-band vibe to the show.

The crowd was objectively sub-par and I think the band was kinda down about it, but it was no bother. Everyone killed it, I had a great time, and even got to chat a bit with the guys. Ronnie vaguely prepared me for a coming surprise for their Jimmy Kimmel performance later in the week, and Taylor chatted a bit about the setlist and songs he liked. Couldn’t ask for nicer dudes and more enjoyable tunes.

 

Bottom Line: Big Talk are freaking awesome and I will literally murder you if you interrupt Ronnie Vannucci Jr. while he’s speaking on stage, bye.

Note: I took roughly a million photos, didn’t edit any of them, none of them are perfect, but I put them up because they were my experience and that’s cool. You’re welcome.