8 Aug 2020

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Gig Review: The Killers @ Spark Arena, Auckland 20/04/2018

21 Apr 2018 // A review by butch181

The night started early, with Alex Cameron, an Australian musician who is friends with Brandon Flowers, having assisted in The Killers latest release, co-writing five tracks. An interesting act, they imbibe an electronic 80’s element to their music, with a David Bowie/Sting vibe to Cameron’s vocal style. Cameron is the clear focal point of the group, dancing throughout the set, amongst his otherwise static band. Performing a short set, the live band make the most of their time on stage engaging with a lot of banter, and completing the unique part of their live performances, saxophonist Roy Molloy’s “Stool Review”. Their set went over well with the crowd, though Cameron’s duet with keyboarder Holiday Sidewinder was slightly hampered by microphone feedback issues. The crowd were supportive but not ultimately familiar with the material, not properly engaging during the tracks, with the exception of their final track about a “confused, white, straight male”, Marlon Brando, from their 2017 release Forced Witness.

While the techs and crew were setting up, the house lights were lit and the full scale of a nearly sold out Arena show was there for all to see. All of the seats were full, all the way up, all the way back, and not an inch of floor space was visible. The stage was set up with the entire rear wall posing as a screen, with two large additional screens on either side of the stage, and a plethora of lighting hanging above it all. Undoubtedly, the show was set to be a visual adventure.

The house lights dimmed, the crowd absolutely erupted in applause as the band entered the stage and went straight into Mr. Brightside. It took mere seconds before 80% of the audience in the stands were standing in their seats as they mirrored the actions of the floor crowd, dancing and singing with hands in the air. Vocalist Brandon Flowers, dressed in a black suit with a floral coloured trim, basks in the atmosphere and adoration and has a smile on his face that doesn’t leave him for the entirety of their night’s performance. The third track into the set and they have already pulled out Somebody Told Me, a show of confidence in the strength of their back catalogue, having played two of their biggest singles from their debut release Hot Fuss so early in the night. Flowers vocals do lack the calm, measured clarity that the studio albums portray, instead he has an almost feverish infectious energy to his performance, as he dances from one side of the stage to another, while their beast of a drummer, Ronnie Vanucci Jr., outperformed the remainder of the band with his oomph, vigour and crisp sound. 

Basking in purple and white lights, the now nine-piece act exhibited power on stage as they performed a variety of hits from their discography; despite the show being part of their tour promoting the Wonderful Wonderful album, it only comprised a quarter of the setlist. With a combination of live video feeds on the large screens behind adjacent to the stages, the show was a visual spectacle with lasers and a couple of rounds from the confetti and streamer cannons during The Man and All These Things That I’ve Done. The heat and energy on the floor were visible as the fired confetti continued to hover and spin above the audience for the entirety of each track, held up by nothing but the rising heat coming from the masses of fans on the standing floor. 

One woman, Amy, from Auckland had a once in a lifetime opportunity, fighting her way to the front of the crowd, her “Drums?” sign was spotted by Flowers and after clarifying that she actually knew how to play the song, was brought on stage to play drums with the band during their performance of For Reasons Unknown. Knocking it out of the park, Amy was able to perform all of the trills and drum fills, and even managed to keep up with the usual changes to live songs, extending parts to encourage crowd participation and for dramatic effect. One of the best fan performances I’ve seen on stage, and even more impressive as it was instrumentally, and not vocals. But that is the calibre of fans that were present on the night. They all knew the songs, all the lyrics, and were enthralled with the performance. Making the most of their time in New Zealand Flowers and lead guitarist Dave Keuning performed an abridged cover of our very own Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over. While he initially struggled to get the key right, he eventually got it and sung it together with the crowd. Exiting the stage, the crowd milled and cheered trying to bring on an encore performance, but it was several minutes of waiting for Flowers emerged back on stage, refreshed in a glittering gold suit and glasses. Performing three more tracks, they ended their set with When You Were Young, before leaving the stage one last time.

Review written by Alex Moulton
Photos provided by Rob Loud


Other Reviews By butch181

Lola Sola - Single Review: Tripping
04 Dec 2019 // by butch181
This latest single from Lola Sola, Tripping, is pure simplicity; simple enough to allow nothing to draw your attention away from the vocals. With very little instrumentation beyond a guitar (which doubles as the tracks percussive element), there is nothing complicated about it, and it creates a slow and weary ambience.
Rubine - Album Review: Secret Danger
04 Nov 2019 // by butch181
Rubine hail from North Island’s Hamilton and Tauranga, which is ideal placement, as some New Zealand’s best classic rock sounds tend to originate from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty regions. The five-piece consist of Tana Tapri on lead vocals, Afzer Zameer on the drums, Dennis Ben on guitar, and Keith McGlade and Stefan Doll on the bass and guitar respectively, as well backing vocals.
Gig Review: Sevendust w/ City of Souls @ Powerstation, Auckland - 23/04/2019
24 Apr 2019 // by butch181
A decidedly reserved Tuesday night in Auckland and people were quietly piling into the Powerstation and grabbing some drinks at the bar. The upper balcony area was closed, so the fans were amassing downstairs around the inner perimeter of the venue.
Sonic Altar - Album Review: Under A Dying Sun
27 Mar 2019 // by butch181
In this digital age, it’s not often that you get a full length record anymore. Everything is short and sweet just to get content out there before fans forget your band even exists.
Levi Lights On Project - Single Review: Mirror Man
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
Levi is a musical amalgamation that would in most cases be categorised as folk, thanks to the groups' uncommon mix of instruments consisting of a saxophone, cello, and cajón, and a lack of a drum kit or electric instruments. That being said, Mirror Man has something unique.
The Gemini Effect - Single Review: Little Mouse
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
Little Mouse is the first single from Bad Alien, the upcoming sophomore album of three-piece alt-rock act The Gemini Effect. With some nice consistent snare work, the track jumps right off the bat with a great organic sense of rhythm that has you bobbing your head and tapping your foot along with the beat, accentuated by some gritty power chords.
Mermaidens - Single Review: You Maintain The Stain
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
The latest release from Wellington trio Mermaidens is a straight up middle finger to the powers that control the world and throws away the mainstream formula of verse/chorus patterns, instead, forming a self-righteous maelstrom of sonic environments.  With no warning given, You Maintain The Stain gets straight into cold, apathetic vocals alongside a pluggy bassline, until the guitar jumps in with an uncomfortable level of discord that sows the seeds of uneasiness in the pit of your stomach as if every instrument is performing a different song.
Paper Cranes - Album Review: Voices
19 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Due for release January 18, 2019, Voices is the second full-length album from Indie Folk duo Paper Cranes. While comprised of ten tracks, the album has a short overall runtime of just over 35 minutes.
View All Articles By butch181

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
    Taylor Swift
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
    Taylor Swift feat. Bon Iver
  • THE 1
    Taylor Swift
    Jack Harlow
    Topic feat. A7S
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem