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The Killers: Knights of The Royal Albert Hall

The Killers

The Killers

The Killers never cease to amaze me. After their latest release Day & Age, I have been eagerly awaiting them finishing their tour and getting back into the studio. While perusing iTunes the other day, however, I came across The Killers: Live From The Royal Albert Hall. I did some research and found out that The Killers, a band based in Las Vegas, NV, while on their international tour this past January, decided to make a “feature length film” of their show at that historic venue. I had desperately wanted to see them in concert on this tour, but never got around to it. I had to satisfy my curiosity and spend the $12.99 on the live “film.”

The video starts just before they hit the stage and perform what I would imagine is a pre-show ritual: they all put their hands in and count off “uno, dos, tres!” Then, the intro to “Human” floods the venue as they take the stage in darkness. Suddenly, lead guitarist Dave Keuning begins the spine-tingling riff, the lights come up, and lead vocalist Brandon Flowers (in his eccentric military style jacket donned with exotic feathers for shoulder pads) comes in: “I did my best to notice.” Such a unique voice brings goosebumps to your skin when you put a face to it. After “Human,” Brandon introduces the band, and they slip right into “This is Your Life.” They continue on for about an hour and forty five minutes, playing all of their hits such as; Mr. Brightside, Somebody Told Me, Sam’s Town, Losing Touch, Space Man, Joy Ride, Bones, and other songs that should have been hits, but an album can only have so many singles.

I want to comment on how amazing this live performance is, and how I would have almost never expected The Killers to be able to put on such an empowering show. Brandon Flowers’ live voice is, no joke, identical to his studio voice. You don’t often see this, especially with artists who actually sing. Lead Guitarist Kuening, who bears a significant resemblance to Jim Morrison of The Doors, is a skilled master of his craft, and does not stray from the sound he creates in the studio. Neither does Lead Bassist Mark Stoermer, who delivers a deep, loud, driving bass line for the entire band to follow. As a drummer myself, I especially want to give props to 36 year old Ronnie Vannucci Jr., who literally does not miss a beat and also bears a striking resemblance to Jason Lee (Earl from My Name is Earl). I actually synced the Live version of Mr. Brightside to the Studio version, and they are perfectly identical. He is like a robot, which I love. I love it when musicians can record something and then perfect it when playing live. It is what I look for at every show I attend, and The Killers as a whole have achieved perfection.

Now for the venue, The Royal Albert Hall. Located in London, it is one of England’s “most distinctive and treasured” buildings. Since opening in 1871 it has held any and every kind of artist and performer, from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on the same bill for the only time ever, to Hendrix, to Zeppelin, to The Who and eventually The Killers. This is in my opinion one of the best venues to make a “live movie” in because you cannot beat the state-of-the-art acoustics coupled with the beauty and elegance of the space.

Finally, I want to comment on how this is unlike any other live concert video I’ve ever seen. As I said before, it is literally a “live movie:” it is not just your normal wide shot, followed by a close up of each member of the band, repeat. Rather, it is a work of art with suspended cameras sweeping over the band as they play and remote cameras at vantage points. The final cut is a gorgeous film with angles, cutting edge film techniques, and filters all adding character that you simply couldn’t get if you where just in the audience at the show. This was recently done on You Tube, with U2 you can read more about it here, and I really think these “live movies” won’t necessarily replace the live concert experience, but will increasingly gain support. More and more bands will begin making them.

In the end, if you are a Killers fan, do yourself a favor and spend the 13 bucks. It really is worth it, and you will definitely be impressed.

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  • Comment by the killers mr brightside cover posted April 02, 2010 at 05:26

    I’m a sucker for The Killers they really are certainly one of the best bands. Although I’ve got to say I recently found this remarkable mr brightside cover version on YouTube the other week and i think I prefer it much more than the classic rendition! You have to sit back and watch this … The Killers Mr Brightside Cover