“This place is too pretty for us,” said frontman Brandon Flowers a few songs into the Killers’ sold-out 90-minute set at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall Monday night. The stage, bathed in purple light, was draped in twinkling lights and palm trees.
The band’s performance, broadcast live over BBC Radio One, was meant to highlight new material from their upcoming November 25 release, Day & Age.
The Las Vegas quartet’s first single, the mellow and synth-heavy “Human,”opened the set. But the crowd didn’t have any time to ponder thesong’s, um, interesting sound, before the boys launched into the next tune.
“Losing Touch,” another new song, fit into the set with lyrics about a troubled relationship. But the most popular fresh cut — besides “Human” — was “Spaceman,” whose bouncy rhythm gave fans of “Mr. Brightside” their new favorite.
Flowers announced “Joy Ride” by calling it a change of pace — and it was the set’s one flat moment. The tune has a vintage disco feel with added bongos, but its sound was too drastic a shift from the previous numbers. In response, the momentum of the crowd changed from arms-in-the-air jubilation to standing still.
But most of the time, the band was in top form. Flowers, wearing what has become a controversial jacket with fur and feather-caked shoulder pads, spent little time behind the keyboards so he could instead embrace the role of frontman.
Before playing “Mr. Brightside,” he said, “It all started for us here in London and we’re very thankful.” Royal Albert Hall’s pristine red and gold balconies seemed to glow as the crowd screamed, “It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss.”
Moments later, the Killers returned to the stage and cut into “Neon Tiger,” a new track that delighted with a driving bass line and urgent, pleading lyrical delivery.
Soon after, fans exited counting the days until November 25.
“For Reasons Unknown”
“Smile Like You Mean It”
“Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine”
“Somebody Told Me”
“Sam’s Town” (Piano version with an English fiddle accompaniment)
“Read My Mind”
“Shadowplay” (Joy Division cover)
“All These Things That I’ve Done”
“When You Were Young”