Who doesn’t remember rocking out to ‘Mr. Brightside’ and ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’ in the safety of their homes, or singing along to ‘Smile Like You Mean It’ and ‘Human’ when it came on in the car radio? The Killers have become a rock band enjoyed by generations young and old, with a discography spanning almost 20 years that has solidified them as one of the rare cult-classics of the music scene.
With seven studio albums, a long history of classic hits, and a growing generation of fans, rock star legends The Killers are coming to New Zealand for the Imploding The Mirage Tour on September 21 and 25 at Spark Arena in Auckland and the Christchurch Arena.
Since the pandemic, the band has given us two flat-out masterpieces when they released Imploding The Mirage and Pressure Machine in 2020 and 2021, and for the first time in a long time, they’ve been given the opportunity to perform tracks from these albums (along with crowd-favourite songs) for the Kiwi hearts and souls to enjoy. The band is already on their sixth leg of the tour, and Flowers has wittily dubbed their concerts as a super-spreader event. “This is a super-spreader event! We’re spreading peace, we’re spreading love, and we’re spreading rock n’ roll!” says Flowers as he recalls the times of uncertainty and isolation, and maybe even defeat, that the world has gone through in the past years.
Of course, before they get a taste of the New Zealand crowd, let’s take a look at some of the songs from the tour’s namesake, Imploding The Mirage. While we already know their classic hits by heart, here are some additional songs to add to the lyric booklet in your mind before they get here!
“’Cause it’s some kind of sin, to live your whole life, on a might’ve been, I’m ready now.”
If there’s one thing that The Killers do that’s a trademark of their music production, it would be the power of their songs that can touch the hearts of a crowd. With their songs, a chorus can become an anthem for the audience, with the fans personifying the lyrics into a single voice. And that’s exactly what they did with their lead single, ‘Caution’.
With deeply personal lyrics coupled with a disco-synth track and even a special guitar solo with Fleetwood Mac’s former guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, the song is about the band’s desire to leave their hometown, but also about their hesitation. A melancholic tune opens the song to set a bittersweet mood before it drops into a more positive note. The arrangement perfectly encapsulates the feeling of stepping out of a place you’ve grown comfortable in, and the hesitation it brings, but also the exciting curiosity of knowing what comes after.
2. Running Towards A Place
“And if we’re running towards a place, where we’ll walk as one, will the hardness of this life, be overcome?”
‘Running Towards A Place’ is a bit more groovy and catchy, with catchy beats and riffs and the signature synth sound that we’re all familiar with. But behind the 80’s-inspired tune that the song gives, ‘Running Towards A Place’ has lyrics of pure poetry and questions of heaven and infinity. Flowers goes on to ask, “Can two become one?” throughout the song. He’s since mentioned that the song is about two people persevering and reaching for eternity, becoming one, which also seems to be a central theme for Imploding The Mirage.
3. Fire In Bone
“When I came back empty-handed, you were waiting in the road, and you fell on my neck, and you took me back home.”
One of the band’s more unique tracks, ‘Fire In Bone’ strays from their usual tone, filled with a funky base and beat that will surely get you dancing. But like every good story, ‘Fire In Bone’ feels like a climax through and through, with references and modern interpretations of the story of the prodigal son. “After all that I took from you, after all that I put you through, here I am”, Flowers sings, and he does mention that the song’s essence was about tapping into the universe. Perhaps, there was an intentional parallelism between the prodigal son and the universe, as if to say however much we take from the universe will bring us back to it towards the end.
4. My Own Soul’s Warning
“I tried going against my own soul’s warning, and in the end, something just didn’t feel right.”
‘My Own Soul’s Warning’ is the opening track of the album, and it just happens to be the show-starter for the tour as well. If there’s one song you need to know, it’s this one, as it sets the mood for the whole show. There’s a delicate cacophony that opens the song which signals the band’s attempt to resonate with its audience from the beginning. Almost instantly, the mood shifts as a reminder for everyone to enjoy what they have to offer.
Flowers had mentioned that the song was about repentance, and what a beautiful gesture it is to concretize such an abstract concept with an ethereal sound that echoes throughout the song. When the show starts, you’ll know you’re in for a treat of more than just the classical bangers to sing along to. Perhaps, you’ll even leave the concert a different person from when you came in.
5. Dying Breed
“I’ll be there when water’s rising, I’ll be your lifeguard.”
Out of all the tracks in Imploding The Mirage, ‘Dying Breed’ is probably the most romantic one on the album. And that’s likely because Brandon Flowers dedicated the song as a tribute to his wife. You can see in the lyrics the appreciation and devotion Flowers has for his wife, as well as the acknowledgment of the hardships and doubts that come with love. The arrangement has a catchy beat that loops around the song, and halfway through, the rest of the band jumps in to transition the song into full rock n’ roll; a style that propels the song into something we can sing and jump around to until its abrupt end.
While Imploding The Mirage is already a two-year old album, it’s only meeting its worldwide crowd for the first time. It’s deeply personal and open to many individual interpretations, and now New Zealand has the chance to be one with the crowd and tap into the vibrant energy that the tour has given to many cities around the world. It’s the start of a new era for The Killers, and while there’s still enough time, why not join them in their journey?
Journey back through some of The Killers greatest hits below!