The Killers

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The Killers - with support from Surferosa - Manchester Academy 3 - 28/5/2004

Following their support of Stellastar in Manchester, way back when they were virtually unknown, The Killers arrive back in the city riding on the back of latest singles "Somebody Told Me" and "Mr Brightside," hoping to promote latest album "Hot Fuss." Those who saw the band back then will probably tonight have been gloating or eating their derogatory words.

First though, the warm up entertainment, and tonight Norway’s Surferosa did just that. Front woman Mariann entered the stage in a frenetic whirlwind of colour, whilst the less vibrant, traditional musicians treated the crowd to their first taster of Surferosa, providing perfect synth rock-pop riffs, and disco beats. Intrigued, the crowd cheer as the band strut and riff through a collection of perfect pop-rock offerings, to which they cheer respectfully, and

The Killers - with support from Surferosa - Manchester Academy 3 - 28/5/2004

clearly enjoy, but remains an element of "What on earth?" as Mariann struts provocatively around the stage in what appears to be a sea of rainbows, and energy, Surferosa are a real wake up call. Duracell would be proud, but the crowd obviously used to dark or casual clad rockers who appear to be rooted to their spot on the stage, are not sure whether to love or hate the band, single "Lucky Lipstick" which got the biggest cheer, certainly made their minds up.

Now well warmed up, the crowd swelled to a sweltering number, as those eagerly awaiting what was to come, ventured out of the bar. As Brandon Flowers and co bounded onto the stage, the cheer erupted with part curiosity, but definite excitement and respect. Opener "Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine" begins to quash the curiosity, as the sound of new romantic synth pop, mixed with a definite rock element is aired. Flowers is not the most talkative of people, but makes up for that and the rock band lethargy of the other members by strutting around at his keyboard and from side to side with the microphone, in the style of Hot Hot Heat’s Steve Bays, acknowledging the whole sell out crowd amicably. What the traditional musicians lack in swagger, they make up for with hypnotic riffs and frenetic drum beats, and crowd pleasers "Indie Rock and Roll" and "Smile like you mean it" rattle across the intimate venue, gathering in the crowd as though they have known them for ever, Flowers can certainly pen a memorable tune. Naturally, singles "Somebody Told Me" and encore "Mr Brightside" whipped the lively crowd into even more of a frenzy, with memorable overhead clapping and collective sing along moments making the close to the night an immeasurable memory.

The Killers certainly have come along way since their support with Stellastar and have a long way to climb yet, we can only expect bigger things and soon.

Katherine Tomlinson