Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Killers Live in Manila!

The Killers finally made it to Manila! Last Thursday, they performed live at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and I was there to witness their amazing concert.

My friend Beck and I got Patron tickets, and since this was the standing area - or mosh pit as I would like to call it - we got there at around 6:30 P.M. to make sure we could be as close to the front as possible. Even then, there was already a pretty big crowd in front of us by (there were probably about 10-12 rows of people in front of us). The opening act, Sandwich, performed a few songs at around 8 P.M., and it was around 9:30 P.M. when the Killers finally took the stage.

I remember being very disappointed when they cancelled their Asian tour back in January 2010. (Lead vocalist Brandon Flowers unfortunately lost his mother to cancer in February 2010 and the tour was cancelled so he could be with his mother in her last days.) More than three years later and finally, The Killers make it to the Philippines. Brandon even said so, telling the audience "Mabuhay! Sa wakas, The Killers are here" or "...are in Manila" and adding "thank you for not giving up on us." It was definitely worth the long wait.

The concert was perfect for their fans as their repertoire consisted of their best and most popular songs from all their albums. They opened with Mr. Brightside which caused the crowd to go into a frenzy. I will say that I was annoyed that everyone in the crowd was singing along to that song - and not very well! LOL - and I couldn't hear Brandon very well. But of course that was expected. Apart from that, they performed Smile and Somebody told me from Hot Fuss, Bling (Confessions of a King) and Read my mind from Sam's Town (which I think is my favorite album of theirs so far), and Spaceman and Human from Day and Age. I don't have their Battle Born and Sawdust albums but they did some songs from those two as well. (Check out their full set list here.) Of course, the concert featured Brandon's keyboard that is set-up as the lightning symbol in their Battle Born album.

While I can't be completely sure, I think The Killers were pleasantly shocked that the audience that night knew and loved all their songs, even the less popular ones that weren't released. When the audience immediately recognized For reasons unknown during the intro and started to cheer, Brandon said "You know this one?" And when they followed up that song with From here on out, the audience once again cheered wildly and Brandon said with a massive grin on his face "You know this one too?"

I will say that Brandon Flowers has become one of my favorite lead vocalists of a rock band. He has an amazing voice: powerful, clear, unique, and instantly recognizable. On top of that, he performs with a fiery passion that comes straight from the heart and the gut. That his performance level is matched by the rest of the band makes for an incredible show.

Once The Killers "closed" the concert with All these things that I've done and the band cleared the stage, the clamor for an encore was astounding. Chants of "We want more" and loud cheers filled the Araneta Coliseum and people even started singing again the anthemic "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" line from All these things that I've done. The band finally came back on stage and treated everyone to an amazing encore that included Jenny was a friend of mine and When we were young.

By the time the lights were all turned back on and the crowd made its way to the exits, I had been standing already for more than five hours. Needless to say I was tired and I had lost my voice but it was all worth it. I'm now in kind of a state of withdrawal, listening to their albums that I have to relive my excitement. I don't know what the odds are that they will return to Manila to perform, but I certainly hope I can see them in concert again.

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