BRANDON FLOWERS, The Depot, Wednesday
As an array of multicolored lights flooded the stage at The Depot where Brandon Flowers stood, cameras and phones were held aloft to capture the moment.
Surely the photos would be blurry, or dark at best. But considering all the feverish excitement, a distorted picture of the night's events was a memento worth obtaining.
The lead singer and songwriter of the enormously popular alt-rock band The Killers, Flowers showed Wednesday night that his abilities extend well beyond his involvement with his main project.
Primarily performing music from his debut solo album, "Flamingo," Flowers played to a crowd that didn't seem to mind the lack of Killers tunes.
Flowers' reputation as a must-see entertainer is well earned. He worked the stage with confidence, keeping the crowd involved and frequently flashing a charming smile. He also balanced showmanship with sincerity, as he discussed his songs with the audience, taking advantage of the more intimate atmosphere of the smaller venue.
Of course, Flowers is primarily known for his powerful voice, and his new songs are excellent showcases for it.
Highlights came from fiery, up-tempo numbers, especially the triumphant "Magdalena," and the driving "Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts," which received the biggest ovations of the show. Here Flowers was in his element, earnestly delivering messages of both the frustration of loss and the possibility of redemption, which seemed to be themes for the evening.
Less expected, however, were the mesmerizing performances Flowers gave during the concert's quietest moments. Stepping away from his previously established strengths, he showed versatility in both singing and songwriting with a stripped-down version of "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas," which was met first with an almost reverent silence and then deafening applause. The smoldering ballad "Playing with Fire" was similarly striking and unique to Flowers' catalog.
Although he spoke and sang about his geographic muse, Las Vegas, near where he was born and where he currently resides, Flowers also made sure to note that his "formative years" were spent in Utah, which he claimed proudly.
Flowers is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a fact he didn't mention but has been so widely publicized it probably wouldn't have been news to many in attendance. Over the course of the hour-long set, a few songs failed to impress so completely as the best material. But the expertly timed lights and effects, the talent of Flowers' sizeable backing band, and the singer's undeniable charisma made it easy to focus on all that was great about the show.
Killers fans were even treated with a surprise performance from the band's drummer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr., who played acoustic guitar during the final encore number, "When You Were Young," a hit from The Killers' 2006 album "Sam's Town."
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