Beginning in June 2004 and, for now, ending in August 2021, the Killers, an American rock band who hail from Las Vegas (the band’s frontman and chief songwriter, Brandon Flowers, is shown in the centre of the photo on the home page), have released seven studio albums. Also one live album and three compilation albums. All told, they have sold approaching 30 million records worldwide. Simply put, they are big.
That first album was called Hot Fuss. The second track on it is Mr Brightside, which has deservedly become celebrated as one of the ultimate stadium rock anthems. It has spent over five years in the UK top-100. It and Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run were among the songs named in a recent listing as among the five most dangerous to play when you’re driving a car…you almost can’t help but go too fast!
Not all Killers’ songs are styled in the manner of Mr Brightside. More sedate, although perhaps just as catchy, is Human, the second track off their third album, Day & Age, released in 2008. Flowers has described that as “our biggest song, pound for pound” (whatever that precisely means). Their second most recent record offering, Imploding the Mirage, issued last August, suggested a set designed to be performed on stage, notably the opener and hit single, My Own Soul’s Warning. That was indeed the plan and a host of gigs around the world had been arranged to showcase the new repertoire. But by then covid had happened.
The August 2021 album is called Pressure Machine. In parts this sounds more like a solo album (Flowers has done a couple of those, too), less embracing of stadium-suitable material – In the Car Outside being a comparative exception – and more reminiscent of Springsteen’s essentially-acoustic albums like Nebraska. The Killers new one includes one song on which Flowers is joined on vocals by Phoebe Bridgers, which will doubtless mean that the iTunes library on my phone will annoyingly refuse to include it along with other Killers’ albums and will instead file it under ‘Various Artists’.
Finally, a third (and this time personal) link between Springsteen and the Killers. The only concert I have seen at the Emirates Stadium in London was a show put on by ‘the Boss’ in May 2008. Next June, the Killers will be the second act I’ve seen there. By way of a bonus, the support act will be Sam Fender, who is terrific. Now that will be fun .