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The Killers | live at The O2

Las Vegas legends The Killers prove they’re still unmatched when putting on a high-energy performance with showmanship, glamour, and a set list crammed full of hits.

Undoubtedly, The Killers, comprised of Brandon Flowers, Ronnie Vannucci Jr, Dave Keuning, and Mark Stoermer, are one of the biggest rock bands in the world. The four-piece became a global phenomenon after dropping their debut studio record and magnum opus, Hot Fuss, in 2004. Over the course of six more exceptional studio LPs, the band have cemented themselves as a global headline act worthy of any stadium or festival. It’s not just due to their discography but also because of The Killers’ inimitable stage presence. Brandon has demonstrated time and again to be the blueprint of what a frontperson can and should be – charismatic, engaging, and talented. 

So during the fifth night of a six-night residency at The O2 in London with support band Travis, I was curious to see if The Killers could still deliver the high-level performance they are known for. It would be understandable if the indie rockers were slightly tired, especially after four previous shows on the trot. But from the get-go, after a theatric veil drop revealed the staging, the group opened with “Read My Mind” and the band was ready to deliver an exciting performance.

There was a cinema-esque light display above which said Rebel Diamonds, a large screen behind them and the stage was assembled in such a way where the band felt close together. It even allowed Brandon and Dave to jump on two platforms along the stage to really interact with the crowd. It soon became clear that the Vegas group would continue the explosive energy after breaking into “Somebody Told Me” and then “Spaceman”. After concluding the first three tracks, Brandon finally engaged with the crowd for the first of many times that would follow. He said: “What’s up London. My name is Brandon Flowers, and I’ll be your host this evening. “We’re the killers and we’re in the service industry, I believe you people ordered a good time.”

Given that the band is celebrating its 20th anniversary of Hot Fuss this year, there was a mixture of different songs strewn throughout the setlist, and it was a thrill to hear deep cuts like “Jenny Was A Friend of Mine”, and even “On Top”. Brandon said: “‘We’ve been introducing some songs from our first album… it happens to be 20 years since it came out.” Throughout the night there was massive cheers from the 20,000 person crowd as the band performed more songs like “Smile Like You Mean it”, “The Man”, “Shot at The Night”, and more.  

The standout highlight was how the band tastefully referenced the England vs Netherlands football match in the Euros semi-final, which was taking place at the same time. Brandon said: “How is England doing? Is it still 1 – 1? Hopefully we can relieve some of your anxiety”. Only a few songs later, the group paused the performance, and put on the last two minutes of the match, Brandon sat on stage in his luxurious and glistening suit watching the game. Pure jubilation erupted in The O2 as the match ended and England made it to the final round – this was heightened by The Killers launching into their biggest track, “Mr Brightside” straight after. The atmosphere was electric, it instantly became a momentous occasion and potentially one of their most memorable recent performances of the mega-hit. Drummer extraordinaire Ronnie even had an England shirt on.

The night continued in a glorious fashion, songs like “Runaways”, “All These Things That I’ve Done” followed next. There was a full introduction to the band members from Brandon, before finishing with the now signature line: “brought to you by way of fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, we are The Killers”. The band then bowed before breaking into “When You Were Young”. After more theatrics, strobe lighting, confetti cannons, and crowd engagement, the band performed a four-track encore, ending the magnificent 20-track set with fan-favourite, “Human.”

If you haven’t seen The Killers live, I implore you to attend one of their shows if you can and enjoy the masterclass. Even two decades into their career, The Killers still have it.

Photo © 2024 Chris Phelps www.chrisphelps.com The Killers – Rebel Diamonds Tour – 2024 The O2 London, England 7.10.24
Photo © 2024 Chris Phelps www.chrisphelps.com The Killers – Rebel Diamonds Tour – 2024 The O2 London, England 7.10.24
Photo © 2024 Chris Phelps www.chrisphelps.com The Killers – Rebel Diamonds Tour – 2024 The O2 London, England 7.10.24
Photo © 2024 Chris Phelps www.chrisphelps.com The Killers – Rebel Diamonds Tour – 2024 The O2 London, England 7.10.24
Photo © 2024 Chris Phelps www.chrisphelps.com The Killers – Rebel Diamonds Tour – 2024 The O2 London, England 7.10.24

The Killers live at The O2 – July 10th setlist

“Read My Mind”

“Somebody Told Me”

“Jenny Was a Friend of Mine”

“Smile Like You Mean It”

“Shot at the Night”

“Running Towards a Place”

“On Top”

“The Man”

“A Dustland Fairytale”

“Mr Brightside”

“Runaways”

“All These Things That I’ve Done”

“When You Were Young”

“Caution”

“Dying Breed”

“Your Side of Town”

“Boy”

“A Little Respect” – Erasure cover

“Human”

Words Cameron Poole

Photography Chris Phelps

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