Remember when Green Day played a small show (by their standards) at The Fillmore in Detroit, before they came back a few months later to the massive Joe Louis Arena? Remember how blistering and mad the show at The Fillmore was, while the arena show felt a bit hollow? Well, that type of situation is EXACTLY what made Monday night at the Masonic Temple Theatre with The Killers an epic show for the ages.
The career of The Killers is closing in on two decades, and most would agree it’s been solid, but definitely not without hiccups. They came out of the gate like a fucking lightning bolt with their debut album Hot Fuss, which included rock classics like “Somebody Told Me,” “All These Things That I Have Done,” and the legendary “Mr. Brightside.” The bar was set high, and if we’re being fair, The Killers have never reached that level again. Most albums since their debut would include one, or maybe two great tracks, but the rest was mostly forgettable. Their music is still good, just not to the mythical heights of their debut.
Throughout their career, they’ve built up a reputation for having insane live shows, filled with the passion and energy you’d expect from someone who idolizes Bruce Springsteen. Rather than holding with commercial success on the radio, their music thrived depending on a passionate group of fans and word of mouth. “Have you seen The Killers live? You HAVE to.”
This was a sentiment I was still lukewarm on. I had seen The Killers live twice before. Once at a cavernous basketball arena in Ypsilanti, and again at Lollapalooza in Chicago. Both were good performances, but they lacked intimacy. A sprawling festival crowd with, at best, 50% being true fans of The Killers made for a disappointing time; and a giant arena is always shit for concerts. However, the Masonic Temple proved to be the perfect way to experience the true magic of The Killers.
The Killers could sell out LCA, but that would result in 2,000 people who are “kind of” fans. A smaller capacity than the sports arenas in Detroit means a higher demand for this show. Normally, I hate the idea of tickets being resold for twice the face value, but it definitely makes people hesitant about going if they aren’t totally into the band playing. Because of that, all 5,000 or so people at the Temple HAD to be there. They would’ve paid anything to see this show, and they were going to get their money’s worth.
Between the mass of diehard fans ready to explode with excitement, and a venue literally built for concerts, it made everything so special. You felt the tingle up your spine when Brandon Flowers belted out the crescendo of “Runaways”. Your heart would soar higher with every note during the guitar solo of “When We Were Young”. It was absolutely brilliant, one of the greatest concerts I have ever seen. They lived up to every bit of their reputation as one of the best live acts touring today.
There’s really no way to capture the energy you feel throughout the crowd at a Killers show. The sound of everyone singing “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” at the top of their lungs is indescribable. You can’t capture the joy you see on every person in the audience in just a photo. The Killers put on a concert that is so overwhelming… you just have to be there.