The Bomb Factory has never looked or sounded better than it did during The Killers' sold-out performance. The Las Vegas rockers converted the large industrial space into a glittering showroom, much like the star-studded residencies lining the Strip in their hometown.
But the dazzling lights, props and multiple confetti canons were merely supplemental accents when it came to their Thursday night concert.
Brandon Flowers came out swinging with opener "Sam's Town," the accelerated, boundary-erasing title track from their 2006 record fueled by an explosive chorus and lead-footed guitar work. The fact that 2019 marks the 15-year anniversary of their debut album, Hot Fuss, is a clear indicator of both their success and relevancy. The Killers have perfected their blend of flashy new wave and heartland rock over the years and built a loyal fan base to make them the festival headliners they are today.
Just look at their schedule. The day after their show in Deep Ellum, the band was headed to Arlington to close out the first night of Kaaboo, the debut and very eclectic three-day festival at AT&T Stadium. Just over a month later, The Killers are headlining one of the largest festivals in the world: England's Glastonbury.
Front man Brandon Flowers delivered an inspired vocal performance that made their studio recordings sound inferior. He was everything you want as the star of the show - polished, charismatic and charming as hell. Even his ensemble was a step above, complete with a classic black blazer and dress shirt to match the refinement they were selling.
The production level and pure athleticism of Thursday night's performance proved they're ready for their massive summer lineup. Despite the rapid-fire speed of most of The Killers' songs, Flowers kept pace and didn't skip a verse or rafter-reaching chorus. He spit out the mouthful of wonderfully arrogant lyrics in "Somebody Told Me" with ease, sprinting across the stage and leaping onto speakers with a grin. The front man was just as exuberant and enthralled as the audience, and matched their enthusiasm with glee during "Shot At The Night." He sailed over the soaring, white-knuckled notes like an elegant athlete with graceful strides and a powerful finish.
Even with the upcoming star-studded lineup of Kaaboo, this performance at the Bomb Factory was a staggering contender. The audience was fully committed and boisterously shouted out the lyrics to chart-toppers "When You Were Young" and "Smile Like You Mean It." The band pulled up an eager fan during "For Reasons Unknown," and let him take on the drums for the fuzzy and unusually even-keeled single, which he nailed with confidence. Admittedly, the space was smaller than the average venue at this point in The Killers' career, but it only enhanced the evening and made the show feel like an exclusive and fleeting appearance that would be referenced for years to come.
Another archived fan favorite, "Read My Mind" - with its stair-stepping suspense and gentle, watercolor melody - spotlighted their signature, eloquent songwriting. The lyrics "Cause I don't shine if you don't shine. Before you go, can you read my mind?...I pull up to the front of your driveway with magic soaking my spine" filled the room with gleaming sentiment and reiterated their verbose voice and refreshingly different perspective in today's mainstream rock scene.
Not surprisingly, there was very little downtime in the accelerated set. Most of the evening was unrelenting and opportunistic. The Killers stole every chance they had to keep the energy, and the crowd, at a high. They raced to the finish with the marching beat of "All These Things That I've Done" and satisfactorily ended with their colossal hit, "Mr. Brightside."
The performance truly felt like a wild and invigorating night in Las Vegas. It was theatrical and spirited from start to finish and showed that even after 15 years of touring and recording, The Killers have encapsulated a timeless style all their own.