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Monday 22 October 2018

First night: The Killers

A lot can change in six months, especially in the music industry. Take for example the spinning wheel that is The Killers' career.

You might have already guessed by now that standing still ain't something the Las Vegas quartet like to do. Oh no. Brandon Flowers and his men tend to shake things up with every release, and on a particularly cold summer's evening in Marlay Park last August, the group decided to test the water with a new song.

Spaceman, a synth-layered slice of alternative pop that would have sounded out of place on second album Sam's Town, didn't exactly garner an exciting response that night and, truth be told, the entire performance was rather mediocre, with the otherwise fascinating foursome seemingly holding back from presenting the spectacular show most had expected.

However, like I said, things change. These days, the boys open their live shows with Spaceman, and I'm happy to report back that what follows is nothing short of outstanding.

Sporting some funky looking feathers on his shoulders, Flowers is a front man you're afraid to take your eyes off of. Dancing flamboyantly across the stage, his thumping fists are enough to provoke a blistering atmosphere of stadium rock proportions.

"It's good to be home," he announces, as his group comfortably settle into their palm-tree decorated surroundings. Quite the opening line, I think you'll agree. Combine this, thankfully, enthusiastic humour with a dazzling light show and a memorable and carefully crafted set of songs and you've got one performance that certainly feels like a homecoming all right.

And, despite the substantial weakness of third album Day and Age when compared to previous releases, everything seems to blend so perfectly. Simply put, the new material sounds terrific live. The saxophone coated Joyride stands strong alongside the likes of Somebody Told Me and Read My Mind, while the futuristic beats of Human even eclipse a thunderous Mr Brightside.

That's pretty impressive considering how the latter is without a doubt the group's finest song writing achievement.

Then there was the encore, which included a raucous and truly spine-tingling When You Were Young. This group certainly know how to leave an audience astounded and, overall, everything seemed to fall effortlessly into place for Flowers and his men -- even the front man himself commented on how 'magnificently well' the evening went.

Indeed, that cold night in Rathfarnham was merely a harmless bump in the road.

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