18 Sep 2012: Paradise Theater Bronx, NY
The Killers joined Jack White, Coldplay and Usher as artists performing in the Amex UNSTAGED series on the 18th of September 2012, the day their latest album Battle Born released in stores. The Las Vegas band had recently played New York’s Webster Hall, another decent sized venue, and were set to play on Letterman, at the Ed Sullivan Theater, on the following evening. So lucky New Yorkers had multiple chances to see the band in smaller than arena venues (ahead of the band’s late fall arena tour). Amex arranged for director Werner Herzog to film and stream the band’s performance to the rest of the world (part of the gimmick of the series, Gary Oldman had directed Jack White). As a storm battered down on the Bronx, at various times, from my understanding, the world lost the live stream coming from the Paradise Theater, but for those inside, the band’s musical bombast and theatrics helped show them why The Killers are probably “one of the biggest guilty pleasure bands of all time”, as Evan Sawdey put it in his review of Battle Born. But the enthusiastic audience were happy to see The Killers playing their arena rock anthems up close and personal (songs are still available to view online here).
Half an hour before the show, Herzog explained the crowd surfing camera to the audience in the general admission section, the camera was in a protected box with the front labeled so the audience knew where to point it. It was a unique touch to get the crowd participating in the live stream surely, while the international audience showed their support by submitting photos of themselves that were broadcast on screens alongside the stage. And when the show began, The Killers did what they do best, rock. Much-anticipated older hits “Spaceman”, “Mr. Brightside” and “Human” stood alongside powerful new anthems like the literal “Flesh and Bone” and first Battle Born single, “Runaways”. The band tossed in a couple of covers (Joy Division’s “Shadowplay” and a bit of “Forever Young” by Alphaville”) but closed out their main set with their gargantuan “All These Things That I’ve Done” punctuated with a burst of confetti. The show could have ended there, but the boys were soon back for two more songs, ultimately ending with “When You Were Young”.
Somebody Told Me
Smile Like You Mean It
Flesh and Bone
For Reasons Unknown
Miss Atomic Bomb
Bling (Confession of a King)
Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
Here With Me
A Dustland Fairytale
Forever Young (Alphaville cover)
Read My Mind
All These Things That I’ve Done
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
When You Were Young
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.