Killers cut their set short
Now this may be a crazy idea, but it seems that when a headlining band sells out a show, they should probably play a set that is longer than 35 minutes. But Las Vegas' the Killers, a band that has taken the music scene by storm following the June release of their debut album "Hot Fuss," seemed to find no issue with playing only 11 songs for the full house at the 9:30 club on Sunday.
While their set packed a dance-filled punch, its brevity left something to be desired - and sent fans home asking themselves what the hell happened.
Suferosa, a Euro-dance band that seems to take no issue ripping off Swede poppers the Sounds with their synth-laden beats, blasted the evening open with an energetic set. Suferosa was followed by NYC's Ambulance LTD, a questionable booking decision as Ambulance's mellow (read: boring) indie rock was out of place in between what are unquestionably two pop bands.
Ambulance is a solidly rocking band (their self-titled album evokes the best of quiet hipster rock), but they were indeed lacking on Sunday. Singer and Calvin Klein model look-alike Marcus Congleton led the band with what is probably the most stationary performance I have ever seen. Though Ambulance strove to redeem themselves on their final song - "Yoga Means Union," a solely instrumental track off their album that offers quite a snap when played live - the audience was ultimately bored by them.
After waiting for at least 30 minutes for the Killers to set up (does it really take that long? And if so, what were they doing all day before the audience arrived?), the lights dimmed and the band finally burst onstage. Lead singer Brandon Flowers (that is apparently his real name) ran to the front, prompting excited cheers and one fan to yell, "That guy's a fuckin' midget." Indeed, Flowers, who looks so grand in the publicity photos, is probably only about five-foot-five.
The Killers, whose synth-based pop invokes the ghosts of '80s greats Duran Duran and Depeche Mode, remained fairly stationary throughout the set, falling into a trap similar to Ambulance LTD.
Flowers did tentatively perch atop a speaker during one song, but he spent most of the set bouncing back and forth between microphone and keyboards. The Killers played an expected set, opening with their new single "Mr. Brightside," nonchalantly throwing in their hit "Somebody Told Me" somewhere in the middle and finishing with the explosive "Midnight Show."
The best song, however, was their rendition of "Under the Gun," a song off an unreleased UK demo they recorded prior to their album. It was this track that separated the true fans from the "I listen to HFS, and they play this really catchy song by the Killers" fans.
After less than 30 minutes of playing, Flowers announced they had only one song left, causing some audience members a smidgen of confusion. After all, isn't the headliner supposed to play a long set - at least longer than it took them to set up? In an effort to slightly extend the performance, Flowers and crew returned to play a two-song encore of "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" and "All These Things That I've Done," after which they sent the audience members on their merry way home at only 11:15.
Sunday's show was surely enjoyable for those in the crowd who knew the bands and could sing along to the songs; for someone who just stumbled in off the street, it was probably quite boring. Being a staunch fan of both the Killers and Ambulance LTD, it's hard to knock them, but their status as "young" bands was highly evident at the show. With a few more tours under their belts - and maybe a few more drinks before shows - both bands could become dynamite live acts whose performances match the energy and passion displayed on their albums.