Live review of Killers' show in Toronto
Mod Club Theatre
July 16, 2004
by Amanda Factor
This Las Vegas synth-pop outfit’s recent stop in Toronto firmly established them as the next big thing to hit rock radio. Playing to a sold-out crowd eager to hear material from their debut, Hot Fuss, The Killers kicked off the early evening show with the explosive album opener "Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine."
Dressed to kill in a black shirt and skinny tie (what else?), vocalist Brandon Flowers looked every inch the ‘80s electro-god while robotically standing at the synthesizer. When he wasn’t doing the whole Kraftwerk/Numan thing, his demeanor was a bit more relaxed — perhaps too much. For example, on "Mr. Brightside," his voice broke as though he were holding back a chuckle, which didn’t suit a song about the agonizing pain of jealousy.
Flowers hammed it up with exaggerated facial expressions (perhaps the effect of seeing too many Vegas lounge acts) and made a lot silly hand gestures. The strangest gesture was when he turned his hand into a talking puppet whenever he said the word "telling." Despite his little performance quirks, Flowers' vocals were, for the most part, seamless.
The Killers played a tight set that included the bulk of Hot Fuss and a few others. The mostly 20-something crowd bopped around to the dance club hit "Somebody Told Me," which is probably the worst song on the album. The more memorable portions of the night came in the form of show-stoppers like "Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll" (which was regrettably omitted from the CD) and the prophetic "On Top." Even "All These Things That I’ve Done" was pulled off fairly successfully without a choir present.
In under 90 minutes, The Killers proved that they are worthy musicians deserving of every shred of hype that surrounds them. Sure, they may just be capitalizing on the sound du jour, but there’s no denying they have an arsenal of strong songs that make for an incredible live show. Months later, when they’re playing some big stadium for 40 bucks a pop, the audience at their Mod Club gig will be thankful to have seen them at their peak.