St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton

To The Killers the UK is a very important place, it is where they gained many of their influences from the host of New Wave and alternative acts that they admired. Even their name was taken from a fictitious band they saw performing in the music video for a New Order song. Since they started coming over here in 2003 audiences have embraced their accessible music styles and their awe-inspiring live performances. With the English football season now over the stadiums of the UK are now available to accommodate live music shows. After an intimate warm-up at the O2 Academy in Sheffield in front of just 2,150 fortune fans, The Killers embarked on an 11 date tour of UK football stadiums. Tonight the tour arrives in Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium after previously cancelling due to the pandemic, the band have honoured their commitment and south coast fans of all ages have turned out here in their 1000’s.

Tonight’s support is one of Stockport’s leading lights in British music Blossoms, a band that since forming in 2013 have gone from strength to strength with a string of key live performances and four top ten albums including three number one’s to their name. Frontman Tom Ogden greets the Southampton crowd in his own unique style before the band kick off with their opening number “I Can’t Stand It” from the band’s “Cool Like You” album. Supporting The Killers is indeed a huge honour and the band grab their chance with everything they have giving the crowd a set full of highlights and despite the big expanse, the sound is really clear giving each member the chance to shine at their own individual tasks. The five piece are also further bolstered by a top percussion team of John Sim and Collette Williams, who clearly make a positive difference to the band’s sound. Tracks from the band’s latest album “Ribbon Around the Bomb” are sadly just restricted to the title track and the brilliantly infectious “The Sulking Poet” Tom’s voice is certainly suited to these large spaces and he effortlessly delivers his vocal with impressive results. Josh Dewhurst’s slide guitar on “Your Girlfriend” is an early highlight, while the band get the crowd singing along with radio play-listed tracks including “Honey Sweet” and their final number “Charlemagne”. Tom bids everyone goodnight and the band takes their bows after splendid set.

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Like when the Saints are cruising to a memorable victory here the atmosphere in this South Coast Premier League Stadium is building and as the lights signal the arrival of one of the world’s best live bands, the noise in the place is deafening. It’s a huge relief to be able to celebrate music once again with like-minded fans in a space such as this. Brandon Flowers arrives on stage declaring “this is a super spreader event, we are spreading peace, love and rock ‘n roll”. Opening with the uplifting “My Own Souls Warning”, the crowd are soon being covered in a cascade of confetti within minutes of the band taking the stage. The euphoria continues as guitarist Ted Sablay launches into the familiar sound of “When You Were Young” on his Gibson Explorer guitar.

The huge stage was constructed in front of the Chapel stand end of the stadium and features a huge screen that provides dazzling imagery combined with live footage. This is combined with a wonderous amount of lights and lasers which reach out into the night sky narrowly avoiding some of the local aircraft flying overhead. It’s like a huge “Killers” jukebox delivering hit after hit with some brilliantly creative graphics individually made for each number. The first huge sing-a-long of the night “Somebody Told Me”; with the place erupts with everyone singing along at the tops of their voices and I’m sure we could be heard as far away as Fratton Park.

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The band who have been known to wear many of their influences high on their sleeves deliver a great re-worked cover of Joy Division’s “Shadowplay” along with a surprise rendition of the emotive “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. They all leave the stage briefly before the encores start and “Spaceman” starts with some astounding graphics; which shows some amazingly realistic 3d images of space rocks floating across the stage and as the band return our senses are bombarded with a host of images, while the band deliver the song perfectly in a wonderfully uplifting manner. The final number will last in the memory of everyone in the stadium, “Mr Brightside” is an absolute tower of a song and its most people’s go to track when they are feeling down. As the intro to the song starts and peoples realization kicks in the place virtually explodes with emotions. Everybody and I mean everybody sings along in one beautiful unified way. The band take their bows leaving the Southampton crowd with a host of wondrous memories of an amazing evening that I’m sure they will cherish for a very long time to come.

Set Lists
The Killers
My Own Soul’s Warning
When You Were Young
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
Smile Like You Mean It
Shot at the Night
Running Towards a Place
Human (electro)
Somebody Told Me
Fire in Bone
Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
In the Car Outside
Runaway Horses
For Reasons Unknown
A Dustland Fairytale
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger cover)
Read My Mind
Dying Breed
All These Things That I’ve Done
Caution (preceded by Rut segue)

Mr. Brightside

If You Think This Is Real Life
The Sulking Poet
Your Girlfriend
My Swimming Brain
The Keeper
Care For
Honey Sweet
Blown Rose
Ribbon Around The Bomb
Oh No (I Think I’m in Love)
At Most a Kiss
There’s a Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)



Article by David Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Karl Garwood
Videos by Owen Power

The Killers