Bluesfest by day: The Killers & The Psychedelic Furs
Shot of Brandon Flowers looking to the crowd (credit: Rob Loud)
Synths ruled the night on Sunday at Bluesfest! The cooler weather had everyone a little more relaxed and with that vintage hits let everyone just have fun. And if anyone was still hungry for more, there was a non-stop onslaught of solid tracks from The Killers to shut down the night.
The Psychedelic Furs
Though it's always a slight gamble seeing vintage acts hitting the stage in their later years, Richard Butler's flamboyant performance immediately helped dissuade any worry the audience may have had. Nevertheless, it helped to launch on a bouncy rendition of "Heaven," as Butler strutted and waved his arms around the stage, all while the crowd's own shouts of heaven added to the track's dreamy effect.
The sax work was also worth the price of admission alone, as things went from smooth to outright punk in a way by the end of the show from the woodwind player. The band kept even the more downbeat tracks like "The Ghost In You" much livelier than their album counterparts. Meanwhile the likes of "Heartbeat" and "President Gas" also found Butler's exuberant wobbly walk and quirky arm moves really enhancing the overall experience of the songs.
While their mix seemed a little off, "Love My Way" instantly run over the crowd and earned harmonies that were euphoric and nearly deafening from the crowd at times. Whether it was a side-effect of "Call Me By Your Name" or not, fans were shimmying, chanting and smiling to a level that showed the band could've easily just kept playing this song their whole set and people would be happy. Even the John Hughes crowd got a moment from "Pretty In Pink" as Butler let his eccentrics out for plenty of goofy poses and grins at the crowd's reaction.
It had a been a while since The Killers last graced the Bluesfest stage, so they got the crowd riled up without any messing around. As Brandon Flowers gave his own ecstatic rendition of a Freddie Mercury-like Ay-Oh moment, the crowd was with him and screaming back with all their might. This lead right into a fiery run of "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" and quick dance to "Somebody Told Me." Much of the night was focused on chanting with the band, as "The Way It Was" and "Run For Cover" pulled at the crowd. However, the laser show and Flowers' cowboy antics on "The Man" weren't to be discouraged either.
"We're The Killers, so that makes you The Victims," said Flowers cheekily. "Just don't let us get away with it."
Flowers made a strong point of getting the crowd going throughout the show, and even called them out playfully if they dropped the ball for a fill-in moment on a vocal. This made something like "Smile Like You Mean It" so much more satisfying, as the audience really reached deep inside to get all the words back at him. However, a young hero named Tony also emerged from the crowd to drum on "For Reasons Unknown," doing the song and its thunderous drumming justice, and giving the audience a unique story to bring home.
With a short Bruce Cockburn moment to switch things up, the band ran full steam ahead into their finale with the screaming "Runaways." Flowers even gave the crowd a few chances to really shout out the track's rather intense choruses at the end, as tired as everyone's voices were after so many sing-a-longs by then. This seemed to smooth out "Read My Mind" as fans could dance and rest their voice-boxes a little. But the screams came right back for "All These Things That I've Done" since cries of "I got soul but I'm not a soldier" beat Flowers to the bunch by a mile, to the point that he started to encourage the crowd to keep it going for a while before he would jump in. This made it feel all the more euphoric as the band launched into the track's climactic ending with another dose of confetti and zipping through "When You Were Young" as if it was the same song. And with a crowd-driven intro to close the set on "Mr. Brightside" it was clear The Killers had planned this set around giving the fans exactly what they wanted but with a little more attitude than usual.
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
Somebody Told Me
The Way It Was
Shot at the Night
Run for Cover
Smile Like You Mean It
For Reasons Unknown (Local Drummer)
A Dustland Fairytale
Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Bruce Cockburn)
Read my Mind
All These Things That I've Done
When You Were Young
Mr. Brightside (First from the crowd then a full run-through with the band)