On Tuesday September 15th, The Killers took to the stage (virtually of course), for a Pandora LIVE event, to promote their new 2020 album Imploding the Mirage. With the challenges of this new and weird reality that people are currently living in, it was a little strange but fun nonetheless. While it wasn’t a typical ‘wait in line at the door, pick up your tickets and walk past the glorious merch table’- kind of thing, it was the next best thing and the atmosphere was so lively and positive.
The virtual doors opened 15 minutes prior to the show starting, and what that meant was that fans had the chance to chat with each other, and play some Killers trivia while they waited for the unique event to begin. Fans were really engaging with each other and some were sharing where they were viewing from; Seattle, Miami, New York, Los Vegas and even Montreal, to name a few! It was often that fans would compare the atmosphere to that of a classic drive in movie. Connecting with people that love an artist just as much as you do, is most definitely half the fun of attending performances.
As the countdown clock to the start of the show ticked down nearer and nearer to the start time of the show, people could feel the excitement through the chat. Fans were typing a mile a minute with cheers, exclamations and emojis. So many emojis.
The show kicked off with lead singer and keyboardist Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. joined by Live Alt Nation representative Madison. Madison introduced Flowers and Vannucci before The Killers opened with the song “Caution,” off of their new album Imploding the Mirage. It was a simple, yet eye-catching set up with Flowers in the very front of the stage behind a large lowercase, light up, marquis style ‘K.’ There was a keyboard and microphone for him right behind the K. Behind Flowers on a raised platform, riding high was Vannucci on the drums. Stage right was guitar player Dave Keuning, and stage left was bassist Mark Stoermer. The stage was well lit and kept simple, yet effective. When the music faded, so did the lights and the last thing on screen was the simple light up ‘K’ and fans in the chat went wild.
Following the opening song, there were a few Pandora ads, but there was a cut back to Madison, with Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. They talked about the production of the song they had just played. Flowers explained that it was one of those songs where the chorus was ready years and years ago, but the rest of the lyrics came later. They both opened up about the writing process of the song and how important it was to them. This ‘mini interview’ style lasted the rest of the show. It felt very personal and it gave the fans a chance to learn a little bit about the new album. Madison would introduce the next song by playfully telling the band which song she would like to hear next.
After another song and another small and quick interview with Madison, the band chose to slow it down a bit and perform an acoustic version of the 2006 mega hit, “When You Were Young” off of the album Sam’s Town. It was much slower and the acoustic choice was an unexpected, yet beautiful choice. Some of the comments said things like “beautiful voice,” “touches my heart” and simply “brb, crying!” This was a point that really felt like the virtual audience was connected with one another. It was a really cool and new, yet somehow familiar feeling. Music still has the power to bring people together.
After another interview with Madison, The Killers sped things back up with the song “Running Towards a Place,” again off of the album Imploding the Mirage. It was catchy and upbeat and at this point fans were commenting things like “this setlist is everything!” The synth and guitar vibes give this song a mix between a classic ’80s song and a Lord Huron hit. The fans were definitely into it!
The next few interviews were a little quicker and there were just two more songs before wrapping up—”My Own Souls Warning” (Imploding the Mirage) and “The Way It Was” (from the 2012 album Battle Born). From beginning to end, the chat was alive with all of the lyrics. Fans were still typing as fast as they could and trying to keep up as if to sing with Brandon. It was really the coolest thing.
The end of the show came all too quickly. The chat quickly flooded with comments, but the main comment was a variation of “thank you so much Pandora!” You didn’t think the iconic American rock band would leave the fans without a merchandise opportunity, did you? As per usual of Pandora a “tap this banner” ad appeared after the stream ended with a promo code for fans to get a free tote bag with the title of the new album. I myself even participated and opted for a Killers tote bag.
While concerts look a little different these days, it was clear that the audience was thankful that there was some type of live music to listen to (without actually being present). This virtual concert definitely lifted people’s spirits and reminds people of just how creative people can be, despite the circumstances around them. The Killers most certainly did not disappoint!