April 19, 2009

COACHELLA 2009: THE KILLERS REACH FOR THE HEAVENS

From the LA Times blog:

The Killers' gloriously tuneful, grand-scale rock closed out Saturday’s main-stage offerings on an especially celebratory note, especially coming as it did on the heels of M.I.A.’s musically monochromatic assault.

Like U2 and Bruce Springsteen, a couple of their key role models, singer-songwriter Brandon Flowers and his Sin City cohorts hold up the promise of a truth that can transcend the troubles of temporal life. Saturday's performance reminded the cheering throng of that higher plane in inspiring, driven songs such as “All These Things That I’ve Done” from the band’s 2004 debut album, “Hot Fuss,” and the no-surrender exhortation at the heart of “A Dustland Fairytale” from last year’s “Day & Age.”

Flowers’ quavery voice is the ideal vehicle for these songs of spiritual yearning, even if he’s more an endearingly engaging frontman than a fiercely commanding presence.

As with the Strokes and the Hives before them, the Killers hold the potential power of the old-school rock-band lineup. And like both of those predecessors and others in the resurgent rock wave that never fully materialized, it’s only taken them so far commercially.

Watching tens of thousands of Coachella-goers thrusting arms into the air and dancing with utter abandon, you have to think there’s still reason to hope the Killers can connect on an even larger scale.

-- Randy Lewis

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