Review: The Killers at Vector Arena

By Scott Kara

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The reason you are not looking at a photo of The Killers from last night's Auckland concert is because no photographers are allowed at the Las Vegas band's shows.

They have their own personal shooter, thank you very much, and no others are required.

Ah yes, ever since the Killers swanned out of Sin City with 2004's Hot Fuss they've made no secret of the fact they think they're something special and have lofty ambitions.

And after this Auckland concert, they went some way to living up to it. The two girls next to us, who rattled the seats and panted "Oh my God" endlessly were proof of that.

And they certainly made up for their first visit to New Zealand, at the Big Day Out in 2007, when they played a lacklustre set, mostly because the sound was bad.

It's a shame not to get a visual though, because singer Brandon Flowers - rock 'n' roll's most famous Mormon and Dan Carter look-a-like - was in fine form.

He strutted the stage and looked dashing in his feathery shoulder pads as he channelled his idol-worship of the Pet Shop Boys on the opening track Human - which comes from the band's latest fruity album Day & Age - and later ripped through the night's first floor bender, Somebody Told Me.

But it took a version of Joy Division's bludgeoning and beautiful Shadowplay to kick the band into a more sharp and biting groove, just in time for Smile Like You Mean It, Spaceman (which, with its "Oh, oh, oh," beginnings, was like we were back at Coldplay), and the stomping highlight Mr Brightside.

Mainly thanks to Hot Fuss and 2006 follow up Sam's Town it's astounding how, in such a short time, the Killers have amassed a set list of endless sing-a-long songs.

But don't get too high and mighty, lads, because while the ska-tinged Joy Ride off Day & Age might sound like the Clash or even the Cure on record, last night it sounded like a band performing on the promenade deck of the Love Boat. And hey, look, there's Isaac serving drinks at the bar, too.

Luckily they played a brain-rattling Bones as their encore to make up for it.

- NZ Herald

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