Last Night: The Killers at Bayou Music Center
On a less than steamy May evening, a packed house at Bayou Music Center waited patiently in a temperature more commonly associated with Bonnaroo or Dengue Fever. About 30 minutes later than expected burst another hot entity, Brandon Flowers, and the rest of The Killers. Suddenly the crowd did not care that they were on the verge of dehydration. This band came to please them, and pleased they would be.
Before Flowers and company started their set, New York-based openers The Virgins started right on time. They were less than impressive. Maybe they would sound better in a dingy Manhattan club, which would explain why greats like Sonic Youth, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop have courted The Virgins as openers in the past.
However, their sound did not translate to a larger venue like Bayou, and mostly seemed like nondescript background music. Their closing song was surely their best, in which I could picture being with friends in the East Village, drinking beers and finding the Virgins interesting. Take them out of that scenery, and they mostly sounded like a strange hybrid between Mark Knopfler and Tom Petty.
However, the crowd was pleasantly appreciative, I speculate because they were seriously amped to see The Killers perform.
The headliners were to start at 9 p.m., but Bayou seemed to be experiencing technical difficulties early in the evening. As mentioned, it was insanely hot inside the complex. There were also some really strange things happening with the sound. Look, feedback is awesome if it is from your boss, or a lover, but hell. It has no place in a show where minimum ticket prices are $55.
All of a sudden, about 30 minutes after nine, the band surged onto the stage. With no introductions, banter, or bullshit, they went straight into what is arguably their best-known song, "Mr. Brightside." For whatever reason, the full floor lights were on the entire time.
I wasn't sure if it was intended as a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the lyrics, or another glitch. But I, like everyone else in the building, couldn't have given a rat's ass. I got a clear view of the beautiful Flowers, who once graced my Top 10 list (look, we all have them, and they are constantly evolving). The song was fantastic and exactly what a fan wants from a live performance: it sounded very close to the radio edit, but grittier and more infused with pulse. The crowd was ecstatic.