Las Vegas rockers The Killers rolled into Raleigh Monday night for a packed show at Red Hat Amphitheater, their first Triangle show in almost nine years (they played the Cat's Cradle in September 2004).
The band wasted no time getting to the hits as they opened with their biggest U.S. hit "Mr. Brightside" and the momentum continued to build as they rolled right into "Spaceman." Frontman Brandon Flowers acted as the ringleader of the band, pacing the stage and showing off his unique Vegas-influenced flair.
Highlights of the set included the band's hits like "Smile Like You Mean It," "Somebody Told Me" and "Human" but some of the deeper cuts were just as good including the "A Dustland Fairytale" from Day & Age. The band's version of Joy Division's "Shadowplay" was accompanied by a fantastic laser show that really fit the vibe of the tune.
The band only played a few songs from their latest album Battle Born which were great including "The Way It Was" and the stellar singles "Miss Atomic Bomb" (which included a bit of unexpected pyro) and "Runaway." The only song that seemed a bit out of place was "From Here on Out" which is a perfectly fine song but Flowers expected a bit too much participation from the crowd on a non-single, more laid back new song.
Towards the end of the set Flowers paid tribute to their first stop in Raleigh with quite bit of James Taylor's "Carolina on My Mind" and he noted that it was the band's first time in the city a few times throughout the show.
After closing the band set with the anthematic tune "All These Things That I've Done," the band returned for a three-song encore. Things started with the laid back but catchy "This is Your Life" and built up to a fierce finale of "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" and "When You Were Young."
Drummer Ronnnie Vanucci was the last member to leave the stage after the encore and told the crowd "Tell your friends." It gave the crowd a nice chuckle as they filed out of the venue.
New York band The Virgins opened the show with an adequate but less than stellar set at the 5,000-plus capacity venue. Their 30-minute set was a nice little warm up for the main event though I wouldn't necessarily write off the band. Their moody, hipster grooves would be more suited for a dark club like Local 506 rather than the fading daylight and humid conditions of a summer night at an amphitheater.
The Killers set list
The Way It Was
Smile Like You Mean It
Bling (Confession of a King) (w/ a big of "Human" on the piano as an intro)
Miss Atomic Bomb
Somebody Told Me
For Reasons Unknown
From Here On Out
A Dustland Fairytale
Carolina On My Mind
Read My Mind
All These Things That I've Done
This Is Your Life
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
When You Were Young