Reeling off a list of greats to grace the stage at Wembley in a specially written song for the occasion, Brandon Flowers exclaims the next line with pride: “After tonight, they’re gonna put another name on that list!”
It’s taken ten years for the band from Nevada to get to this point. Ten years, four studio albums, and a hell of a lot of grit and determination. They’ve shaken off their critics, like all bands do, and come back stronger. Their latest album, Battle Born, shows them to be as robust as ever and well worth a place amongst the elite to have played at London’s Wembley Stadium.
The lyrics “We hope you enjoy your stay” rang around the stadium as front man Brandon Flowers appeared on stage, solo at the piano, singing ‘Enterlude’ before being joined by the rest of the band before then bursting into ‘When You Were Young’ – complete with pyrotechnics galore. The crowd were jumping, singing, dancing and drenched in (what was hopefully) beer, and the show had only just begun.
After soaring through ‘Spaceman’, ‘The Way It Was’ and ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, Brandon asked the crowd if it was alright for them to sing one of their old numbers, before firing into ‘This River Is Wild’ from the band’s 2006 album Sam’s Town. If Wembley had a roof, it would have been blown completely off.
The rest of the phenomenal set was laced with both sensational covers of ‘Shadowplay’ and ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ as well as the records that helped The Killers rise to fame, with ‘Human’ and ‘Somebody Told Me’ raising the decibels further.
A complete calm covered Wembley as the whole stadium was lit up for their latest single ‘Here With Me’. They then had all of the audience mesmerized by their ‘Wembley Song’, name checking the greats to have played the iconic venue – “…U2, Oasis, The Foos, The Eagles, Madonna and Muse,” – as well as brilliantly including their own lyrics – “the devil’s water and the good old days, ain’t we all just runaways?”
‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ saw the stadium bathed in confetti, before the band came out for an incredible four song encore that began with ‘Flesh and Bone’, the opening track to their fourth studio album Battle Born. The band flew into ‘Jenny Was Friend Of Mine’ before the rousing title-track ‘Battle Born’ to keep energies as high as possible. Not to mention that all of that was before they finished the show in the only way that a show like that could be: with ‘Mr. Brightside.’
Straight after playing the biggest gig of their lives? The Las Vegas four-piece proved they will never forget their humble beginnings, being whisked away to a tiny secret after show gig at The Garage in Islington where they played the usual hits, as well as songs like ‘Tranquilize’ and ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll’ to a lucky few hundred.
Some said they weren’t big enough for Wembley, but after their huge performance there, many will say Wembley wasn’t big enough for them.
5 stars ★★★★★