x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Killer set at Sandance

The Killers kicked of the new season of Sandance with a bright greatest-hit set.

The Killers perform at Sandance in Dubai. Razan Alzayani / The National
The Killers perform at Sandance in Dubai. Razan Alzayani / The National

With Dubai being the last international stop of their latest world tour, The Killers had every reason to look relaxed on Friday night.

This latest trek has been their most successful yet, with the Las Vegas group selling out the mammoth Wembley Stadium back in June.

While a sold-out Sandance is not exactly in the same league, the revellers did a mighty job of providing a raucous festival atmosphere.

The 16-song set touched on all aspects of the band’s career, but it’s always the numbers from The Killers’ smashing 2004 debut Hot Fuss eliciting the biggest response.

The opener Mr Brightside, led by that sparkling guitar riff by Dave Keuning, had the crowd pogoing, along with Brandon Flowers jumping on the speakers to deliver the heroic chorus.

Smile Like You Mean It and the propulsive Somebody Told Me soared courtesy of Flowers’s epic synth lines while Human sounded dynamic with its driving verse and cooing chorus.

The boys also spent time tipping their hats to past and modern influences. Their pensive cover of Joy Division’s Shadowplay was filled with krautrock tension. 

It was the opposite with their lighter take on Ritchie Cordell’s I Think We’re Alone Now; Flowers’s performance making the 1960s power-pop ditty sound more epic than what it perhaps deserves.

For Reasons Unknown showcased The Killers debt to The Cars; those chugging riffs and Flowers’s melodic yelps a fine tribute to Ric Ocasek.

It was a precursor to a storming finale of the cinematic All These Things That I’ve Done.

With an encore of Jenny Was a Friend of Mine and When You Were Young, The Killers left the stage giving the pleased masses what they wanted. It also set the stage nicely for their greatest hits collection to be released in November.

Earlier in the evening, Of Monsters and Men put on a light yet charming set. The Icelandic sextet’s songs are basically lullabies turned mini symphonies.

Little Talk punctured some of the pleasant placidness with some welcome horns, while Yellow Light raised blood levels with its marching drums.