Brandon Flowers Thrives on Audience's Energy at House of Blues

Concert Review

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click to enlarge Brandon Flowers Thrives on Audience's Energy at House of Blues
Torey Mundkowsky
The Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers instantly energized the sold out crowd at House of Blues last night when he kicked off his show with "Dreams Come True," the first track off his second solo album, The Desired Effect. Suited up in his signature silver blazer, Flowers hopped to the top of a speaker to position himself into a gladiator pose. That energy would continue to pulse throughout the entirety of the evening. Flowers then moved into his new hit "Can't Deny My Love," jumping onto the speakers and encouraging the crowd to sing along.

The night continued with an acoustic version of the Killers' "Jenny Was A Friend of Mine," the very stylized stalker song "Lonely Town," "Digging Up The Heart" and the catchy hit "Still Want You." From his first album, he performed "Magdalena," "Swallow It" and "Crossfire." He also delivered a crowd-pleasing performance of the Killers’ hit "Human."

Easily the most Killers-like song from his new album, "Untangled Love" was the surprise song of the evening. He hasn’t performed it much on the tour, but he ripped through that song with a fury that left fans stunned and happy.

Flowers as a solo artist has improved over the years at engaging the crowd. He still comes off a bit awkward and nervous while telling stories that relate to the next song he will perform. He’s widely criticized for being arrogant, but in those nervous moments, it’s clear he’s just trying to connect to his fans and share his passion with the room. "I don't shine if you don't shine" — those now classic lyrics from the Killers' tune "Read My Mind," which he performed as an acoustic number, summed up last night’s show. At one point, he said last night's crowd was the best one of the his entire tour. Since he’s not one to pander to his fans, you kind of had to believe him since patrons were on their feet with arms in the air, singing along with him to every track. And he encouraged the sing-a-longs. He extended "The Way It's Always Been" so that everyone could join in on the chorus with him.

Flowers began his encore with "I Can Change." He credited the sample he used to Bronski Beat's "Small Town Boy," even infusing the song with a bonus chorus from the original song. Instead of ending the show with a Killers' cover like "Mr. Brightside," which he is often known to do, he completed the evening with a stripped down version of "Only the Young" from his debut album Flamingo. While beautiful and heartfelt, it was a rather sad way to end the night. It left his fans wanting more, which was maybe the desired effect.
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