After a seven year absence, myself, like The Killers, was at Tennent’s Vital last week. My last Tennent’s Vital gig in 2007 wasn’t for The Killers, it was for Manic Street Preachers/Razorlight the night before.
It was my 4th Vital, having been in 2002 (the very first one, in a tent in Botanic Gardens), 2005 and 2007 (Ormeau Park) – I had now been to three of the four venues used for Vital.
I’d been unsure how the venue would work, being on a main commuter route on a weekday, and then getting out. I was impressed as I had no bother getting in or out of the venue.
There was even a big wheel, if you were that way inclined. I didn’t go on it.
One downside, was there being a pit. I arrived at 5.30pm and all the passes were gone. I managed to get a good view, but I would have preferred a better. Especially frustrating, as there was plenty of space in it when the concert was ongoing.
First on stage, was drummer Ronnie Vanucci, doing a drum solo. Each other member of the band walked on, and began playing their instrument.
With each layer, it became obvious they were going to start with “Somebody Told Me”, and when singer Brandon Flowers joined the stage, that’s what happened.
Exactly 18 months after their last gig in Belfast, The Killers were ready to go.
It was the last night of their, as they asked the crowd if they were ready to make it one to remember. They were.
Having released a Greatest Hits compilation in 2013, that’s where most of the setlist came from, playing hits such as “Smile Like You Mean It”, “Spaceman”, “Runaways” and “All These Things I’ve Done”
They even fooled the audience, by playing a slow, piano led version of “Human”, before abandoning it, and then playing the version we all know later on.
There were also covers, which will have pleased the locals, doing a cover of a song by, what Brandon Flowers described as “Stroke City’s finest”, The Undertones (Teenage Kicks), quite apt, on the day of the death of the man who coined the phrase “Stroke City”
They also did a cover of “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, just as they did at The Odyssey in 2013.
We were even treated to an extended drum solo from Ronnie Vanucci when Brandon Flowers asked him if he’d brought his dancing shoes.
The band had spent the day before the gig in Northern Ireland, exploring some tourist spots, with Ronnie enjoying Bushmills Distillery (hmmm, possible headline slot at Bushmills Live in 2015?), while others went to Giants Causeway, before having a Guinness in “The Crowns”
I think Brandon Flowers needs to brush up on his pub names of Belfast.
Their encore began with “Shot At The Night”, the lead single of their Greatest Hits album, and included “When We Were Young”, before ending on “Mr Brightside”