Review: The Killers @ O2 Academy
Word: Laura Mills
Photography: Rob Loud
The Killers playing an intimate gig at Sheffield’s O2 Academy played out exactly as I’d expected: an air of swagger, a night of escapism, and a chance for many to get closer to the famous rockers than they ever have before.
The O2 audience was cast into darkness by the lowered lighting, and then – bam– bright lights surge through as the band graced the stage.
The Killers kicked off their set in Sheffield with ‘My Own Soul’s Warning’: great song, great band, great crowd reaction. Simple as that.
As we fade out of track one, it all dies down for a sec and then comes the confetti. The Killers are in town and they’re ready to go.
Next up, and arguably one of band’s most favoured songs, ‘When You Were Young’. Each member put full force into their instruments to launch us into the trademark heavy intro.
That’s when we’re joined by Brandon’s vocals like a light in the mist: “You sit there in your heartache / Waiting on some beautiful boy to / To save you from your old ways / You play forgiveness / Watch it now, here he comes.”
Every single pair of eyes in the room is fixated on Flowers; the guitar pace changes and increases for the chorus.
Alongside Brandon. his adoring crowd sing their hearts out to each line of the chorus.
“He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus / But he talks like a gentlemen / Like you imagined when you were young.”
We’re only two songs in, and one thing is made very clear: Brandon Flowers has his swagger out in full force tonight.
A few songs in we got to ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’. The sound the band creates is assertive, so rigorous, and as we launch into the chorus again everyone throws their arms forward to sing along: “Tell me what you want to know / Oh come on, oh come on, oh come on.”
This crowd showed no signs of faltering, even for a second, and thank god because The Killers next fired into ‘Smile Like You Mean It’.
A track which is one of my personal favourites, and it was such an honour to see it played live. It was everything you’d imagine and more.
Electric guitars with screeching chords, a rumbling bass, and sheer strength smashing at those drums all centred perfectly around Brandon’s mighty vocals.
A few tracks go by, firing the crowd up further, and then arguably one of the best songs ever written comes to ignite the Steel City. Oh, you know the score… next up, ‘Mr Brightside’
Brandon singing the lyrics, “Coming out of my cage / And I’ve been doing just fine” sets our crowd free.
The entire room is jumping and singing every word; the band are completely relentless on the stage.
Brandon Flowers reflected on some of their earlier shows of 2022: “We did some warm-up shows in Vegas. It was good but tonight feels a little bit better. Thanks for coming.”
That’s not all the talking The Killers frontman did either, later on in the night he said: “I hope you can tell that we’re genuine though when we talk about our love for this place. Man… I mean, you changed our lives! And we do love coming here – this is our spiritual home.”
My favourite moment of this evening was when the band played ‘Read My Mind’. Everything about this one felt so utterly faultless. The transitions between this slower, more reserved intro with Brandon’s sweet vocals coursing through the centre.
As the sound becomes heavier, so does the force in Brandon’s vocals and “I never really gave up on / Breakin’ out of this two-star town” I can still hear racing through my mind even days after.
The Killers still reek of style and confidence, I can wholeheartedly say this was demonstrated completely in front of my eyes with on-stage persona and swagger. The music they create is electrifying and Tuesday night in Sheffield absolutely confirmed this for me.
The Steel City will always welcome you!
The Killers setlist:
‘My Own Soul’s Warning’
‘When You Were Young’
‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’
‘Smile Like You Mean It’
‘Run For Cover’
‘Running Towards A Place’
‘Somebody Told Me’
‘Fire In Bone’
‘Shadowplay’ (Joy Division cover)
‘In The Car Outside’
‘A Dustland Fairytale’
‘Read My Mind’
‘All These Things That I’ve Done’