Somebody told me that The Killers were in Belfast for a concert at The Odyssey. Well sort of, only half of them were there, singer Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr, due with bassist Mark Stoermer and guitarist Dave Keuning deciding to sit out this tour.
They might only been at half strength, but they were at full power, though Flowers commented during the set “Look at how we’ve grown”, referring to the number of Support Musicians and Backing Singers on stage.
Talking of Ronnie Vannucci Jr, is it me, or does he look like Earl Hickey? Once you see it, it cannot be unseen.
Flowers also commented that it had been a while since The Killers were last in Belfast. It was only three years ago, not that long, relatively speaking. That night, at Tennent’s Vital, they were flogging a Greatest Hits album
It is the gap between Killers albums that has contributed to their absences from Belfast. Their current release, Wonderful Wonderful is their first album since 2012 and only their second since 2008.
During that time, Brandon Flowers has juggled Killers commitments inbetween releasing and touring (but he never played Belfast) two solo albums, like a modern day Phil Collins, but more listenable and with better hair.
Their last indoor concert in Belfast was at The Odyssey in 2013.
Flowers was the last person the enter the stage, having built up the tension, as the band went straight into the title track from their current album Wonderful Wonderful.
That was then followed by the lead single from that album, The Man, as a synth/keyboard in the shape of the male logo and pink confetti shot out into the crowd.
The Man is a dancing bouncing tune full of swagger, albeit sounding like Reflektor by Arcade Fire. The funky guitars on the live version sounded like a cross between Fame by David Bowie and Big Time by Peter Gabriel. Whatever it sounded like, it sounded fantastic.
This was then followed by their breakthrough hit Somebody Told Me, before the standout track from Wonderful Wonderful, Run For Cover, which was originally written for the Day and Age album, and does sound a lot like Spaceman, which was incidentally also on the setlist.
Other classic hits included Smile Like You Mean It and For Reasons Unknown.
Belfast got a treat in the shape of a cover of Teenage Kicks (previously done in Belfast), local to Northern Ireland but not to Belfast obviously. The crowd loved it. They might have just screamed out of control if Brandon had sang “I’m Norman Whiteside” on Mr Brightside. Sadly, he didn’t.
Current single Rut got an airing, The Killers were in anything but a rut.
There were more classic hits to follow in the shape of Human, Runaways, Read My Mind and All These Things I’ve Done, with a cover of Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits sandwiched inbetween.
For the encore, Flowers strutted onto the stage in a gold suit, more channeling Mr MacPhisto (Bono’s alter ego from the Zoo TV Tour) than Martin Fry from ABC.
The encore included classic hits When You Were Young and Mr Brightside.
To quote their biggest hit from their current album, The Killers still have plenty of gas in the tank. Belfast was in agreement that they were Wonderful Wonderful.