It was indeed a killer night for music as rock and roll royalty Johnny Marr accompanied The Killers on their North American Tour when it hit San Diego.
Johnny Marr opened the night, and while he only played a short set, he certainly did not fail to impress. He owned the stage as he swiftly navigated through new tunes and classic Smiths songs. He even played “Getting Away with It,” the first single by the band Electronic, his collaboration with Bernard Sumner of New Order, which originally had guest vocalist Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys when it was released in 1989.
Other highlights of Marr’s set were “Spirit Power and Soul” and “Night and Day” off his new record “Fever Dreams.” I was really excited to catch Marr and every song felt equally well received by fans. While the shorter sets openers receive don’t give an artist with such an ample catalog a lot of room to play, Johnny Marr made it work and his set left me hoping for an upcoming headlining tour.
After a pretty quick stage makeover, it was time for The Killers to take over. I have to admit, never having seen them live before, I came in with a lot of preconceived notions of what the band was going to deliver; I almost expected to see a show that just wouldn’t live up to the hype. I think this started when I saw the videos of Glastonbury 2019 when Johnny Marr performed “This Charming Man” with them; when you cover a song by such an iconic band, you are bound to turn some heads! The Smiths single handedly cuddled my maladjusted adolescence with their songs and hearing “This Charming Man” performed by anyone other than Morrissey just didn’t sit quite right. At the same time, it piqued my curiosity, leaving me really looking forward to their show.
And so, I watched their performance with extra care, looking for any flaws and missteps. I waited to catch a glimpse of an over-inflated ego, or a dull moment that left the audience unimpressed, and I failed because there were absolutely no flaws to be found.
I was pretty much left wide-eyed throughout their set, captivated equally by Brandon Flowers’ charisma, and the fans that brought extra life to an already majestic set. Their performance blew the entire crowd away and definitely converted me into a fan. You set certain expectations when you start off your show with an explosion of confetti, but all those expectations were more than met.
Brandon Flowers is an amazing showman capable of hypnotizing an entire audience with his high energy and intense mannerism that is reminiscent of Ian Curtis. The chemistry between all of the band members was easily noticed and added to the magic of the evening.
Some highlights: “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,” which is one of my favorite songs of theirs and I play it on repeat quite often. “Somebody Told Me,” because there was a little girl in front of me that went crazy during the song and couldn’t stop jumping, holding a huge sign, hoping to be spotted in the crowd – it was the most adorable thing ever. “Runaways” was another great moment in their set; the crowd went absolutely crazy over it.
Of course my favorite moment of the night was when they brought Johnny Marr back onstage for the encores and they performed “This Charming Man” together, as well as “Mr. Brightside.”
So yes, the moment I waited the entire night to rip apart turned out to be one of the most magical moments for me. In fact, the lady behind me said, “Oh my God. You were waiting for this all night weren’t you?” Well, as it turned out, I was.