The Killers at St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton 30.5.2022 with Blossoms supporting
This one was a long wait, with it being originally scheduled for June 2020, and we certainly gave it a good go. A boozy night at Southampton F.C. football stadium…to the extent that the detail maybe fuzzy. We were in the stands, under cover, with access to the Mike Channon lounge before and afterwards with the help of eagle-eyed ticket man Dave (DPi). This saved us from the rain but not the bar. Oh dear. Note to self, again, eating’s not cheating. I can’t hide from the fact I went too early and was found wanting at the end of the game.
I guess it was always going to be a big one with a group of six of us staying over in Southampton for two nights. We did it justice, starting with an extended lunchtime in the old Duke of Wellington pub – very good. I couldn’t do a replay.
This was the sixth time I’ve seen The Killers, the last time being at Glastonbury 2019, which fuelled this group outing – best I’ve seen them. The first two Killers gigs disappointed: O2 London 2012, with bad high up seats and Brandon’s sore throat, and Wembley Stadium 2013, on the pitch with poor sound and a poor view that got worse as places were lost. Hyde Park 2017 was a vast improvement to re-inject enthusiasm and that not long after the worse kept secret gig on the John Peel stage at Glastonbury 2017, which was exciting to be at but I was just outside the tent peering in (with back of my head burning).
Support band Blossoms are also familiar faces live: one of the first bands on at Glastonbury 2017, Victorious Festival 2021 and my last gig before Lockdown at O2 Bournemouth, indeed my wife probably contracted Covid at that one.
Blossoms played a good indie pop set including the singles that I would have thought would get a bigger reaction, rounding off with There’s a Reason Why and Charlamagne. Maybe their gentle sound isn’t punchy enough for a big outdoor stadium gig, but that wasn’t evident from their festival appearances I was at. Maybe a bit of rain had dampened things on the pitch and down the front… but the reception seemed a bit dampened to me. Enjoyed them though. ‘Half-time’. More Czech dark lager.
Killers live in Southampton at last
The crowd on the pitch packs more densely in anticipation of The Killers. It’s still light. On they come, starting with one from the Imploding the Mirage album – well it is the Imploding the Mirage tour – My Own Soul’s Warning. It’s not the latest album though, such is the Covid disruption. That is Pressure Machine, released a year later in August 2021 and with lots of talky bits between the tracks, from residents of the town Brandon Flowers grew up in (before he went down to Vegas). They only played a couple from that one. Maybe they’re saving it for another tour.
Some old stuff : the next four songs, from the first two albums, get people out of their seats, including Jenny Was a friend of Mine, and Smile Like You Mean it – two of the best. It was about that time I noticed the beer taking its toll. I popped down to the gents and returned to the stand and up the steps looking like I needed ropes and crampons. I made it. Maybe no one noticed. 😬
Several blasts of shiny tickertape pieces give it that stadium show feel. Must be a bugger to clean up after mind. Saints’ ground staff will be cursing come the pre-season.
I said it was all a bit hazy by this time but Shadowplay, the Joy Division cover, was a standout one and a regular Killers set appearance. Party in full swing now – particularly in our row.
As the gig went into extra time a popular if predictable finish. Nothing wrong with predictable if everyone knows them: Spaceman and the signature anthem Mr Brightside.
I understand they ran out of vodka down in the bars for the standing area. Maybe if the beer taps had run dry in the Mike Channon suite, I might have been saved from paying the penalty for this Killer session.