Back in 2006, shortly before The Killers’ second album had hit the shelves, frontman Brandon Flowers was asked whether his band had what it takes to build on the success from their debut album Hot Fuss, which rocketed them to fame in 2004.
He replied: “We need to stay up here. That’s the true challenge. But you should see the view.”
I imagine the view from the stage at Wembley Stadium earlier this year was the best view yet, and one that Flowers – along with band mates Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. – would have dreamt about for some time. And, as the curtain falls on the Battle Born era, it would be absurd not to label it as the The Killers’ greatest era yet.
The band’s list of achievements in the past year is huge, as not only did their latest album reach the top of the UK charts, it was also crowned the third-fastest selling record in 2012. They then embarked on a worldwide tour, which reaped the group’s deserved rewards. Beginning in Europe, the sold-out shows began as superbly as you’d imagine from a band who must see the stage as a home from home.
Despite having to cancel and reschedule shows due to Brandon’s slowly deteriorating voice, it seemed that nothing could mar the success of 2012 as the band returned in 2013 in a better state than ever to finish what they had started previously.
And what better way to come back than to headline London’s Wembley Stadium, a venue often reserved for bands at the pinnacle of their career. Not only did The Killers get to perform at Wembley, but they were also able to proudly add their name to the growing list of bands who have headlined the stadium; most of which are some of music’s biggest acts ever.
This is what makes the Battle Born era the biggest and best yet. We’ve seen The Killers go through four stages of evolution: the synth-pop themed Hot Fuss (2004) era that saw them burst onto the scene with the legendary ‘Mr Brightside’; the Sam’s Town (2006) era that showed them as a strong rock presence drawing on influences from their edge-of-the-desert hometown of Nevada; and the futuristic and saxophone-laced Day & Age (2008) era that showcased yet another string on The Killers’ bow.
Then – after a lengthy absence to concentrate on solo projects – came 2012’s Battle Born, an album that doesn’t appear as full of hits as its predecessors on the surface, but is by far the most polished. This is a testament to how far the band has come, with the ability to headline Wembley a sure sign of making it.
When The Killers look back on their time together as a band, they will pin point this as ‘the’ moment and this era as ‘the’ era. Brandon was quick to point this out too, stating in an interview that the Battle Born tour had been “the best tour we’ve ever had.”
The interview came alongside the first play of new single ‘Shot At The Night,’ a synth-fuelled number that is heavy on the drums and one that you know will sound fantastic live. The track is to be included on the band’s soon-to-be-released greatest hits album Direct Hits, a compilation which opens up the next chapter in their illustrious career. Where they’ll go after remains to be seen. The direction, though, can only be up.
If you have a couple more minutes to spare, why not check out the past week’s other content?
- Live Review: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis @ Birmingham O2 Academy 1, 11/09/13
- Live Review: The 1975 @ Birmingham HMV Institute, 18/09/13
- The Monday Playlist: Freshers’ Mixtape