If you are good at Duran Duran lyrics, you probably realized that the title of this blog did not come from a Duran lyric. No, it came from the Killers’ song, “The Man.” Why in the world would I quote the Killers on a Duran blog? Simple. I saw the Killers live on Wednesday in Milwaukee. I could summarize the show by saying that it was absolutely fabulous but I wouldn’t be me if I did just that. No, I like to go into some detail. I’m not going to lie. I took some notes in my head during the show as I couldn’t help but to compare some to Duran.
The Killers appeared on stage at about 9:05, about 5 minutes after they were supposed to come on stage. That isn’t much different than what Duran did for the shows in Oakland and San Francisco. Like Duran, the Killers started with some music as the band entered the stage with bright lights flashing. Needless to say, excitement increases no matter who is playing! The Killers went on to play for a little less than 2 hours. Again, this is similar to Duran’s concert length. They played about 20 songs which is close to the number of shows played a typical Duran show. This made me think. While I hear a lot about band/artists who play for 2 and a half hours or 3 hours, it is starting to feel to me as the exceptions rather than the rules.
Before I went to the show, I took a look at the recent set lists to get an idea of what they have been playing. I even came up with a playlist to listen to in the car that I figured would closely match the set. In general, I was pretty close based on what they have recently been playing. That said, there were some interesting changes. For example, they opened with “The Man” which is a new song to be included on their upcoming album. I suspected that they would do that to advertise it. What surprised me, though, was that the second song was another new song, one that came out like last week, “Run for Cover.” Both songs went over well. One fascinating moment was when Brandon, the lead singer, asked the crowd to pick the next song. He gave two choices. Choice one was “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,” which is a popular song of theirs. The second choice was a b-side called “Under the Gun.” The crowd chose the b-side. You know…if Duran wanted to ask the crowd if they wanted to hear say “Late Bar” vs. “Hungry Like the Wolf,” I would be okay with that. Beyond that, there were not many shockers to the set. I was not surprised, in the least, that “Mr. Brightside” finished the night as it acts like Duran’s “Rio.”
Just the Music:
One aspect of the Killers show that I immediately noticed was that they did not have visuals. They had lights, of course, that they used to enhance the songs but they had no video. I wonder if that was specific to the small venue that they played at or if that was something purposeful. While I have seen the Killers before, I cannot remember if there were visuals.
After the show, my friend and I planned to just head home. After all, we were sweaty and tired from standing on our feet. (For the record, I’m still very anti-GA. It is hard for me to see and it is too hot and too uncomfortable. Give me seats, please, bands. Please.) As we sat down in my car, my friend noticed that there was a crowd at the back of the venue. We decided to take a closer look and noticed that Dave Keuning, the band’s guitarist, was standing outside signing autographs and taking pictures. We figured we could join the crowd. Immediately, the student of fandom in me began to observe the scene. I noticed that the crowd was calm. People nicely asked for autographs or photos and Dave accommodated. (Maybe a certain blogger asked for one even!) That said, as new people showed up, they did not look around to consider if other people who were already there were waiting their turn. I, for one, thought it was great that Dave was willing to be out there with fans. That said, he was the only one of the band to do so. I wish that the whole band was out there and I wish that there was more of an organized line just so that people didn’t feel that they needed to be super assertive to get their turn.
Would this work for Duran? I don’t know. I have seen them after shows, behind venues before, but it always feels more crazed. The members of Duran seem to be in demand in a different way. Now, in fairness, I don’t know what the crowd would have been like if Brandon Flowers, probably the most popular member, was out there. Maybe it would have felt more like Duran. Maybe the Killers fans are more used to having a band member outside with fans. I don’t know. I have more questions than answers.
I adore the Killers and thought they put on a fabulous show. Brandon, like Simon, knows how to work the crowd by moving around, asking for audience participation, and sharing stories/thoughts to introduce songs. Now, I have to decide if I want to get tickets to see them again in January. They are playing in a venue with a GA floor (ugh!) but seats on the side. It would be interesting to see how the audience would change in a much bigger venue. One other thought popped into my head about three songs in. I adore a quality live show. Someone at work yesterday asked me how many concerts I have attended in the last five years. I had to really think and then I shocked the heck out of my colleague with my answer. I followed it up by saying that I go see quality bands, including the Killers and Duran Duran.
Here is a video clip of Wednesday’s show:
Wonder who is in this picture??: