Las Vegas band The Killers have gradually developed a reputation and a following as one of the best bands of the last twenty years, with front man Brandon Flowers frequently lauded as one of the most exciting front men in music. With five commercially successful albums to their name at present, they boast a discography full of hits and radio classics, including the incredible Mr. Brightside (Hot Fuss, 2004), Smile Like You Mean It (Hot Fuss, 2004), Spaceman (Day & Age, 2008), among others, which would be the envy of most other bands.
The problem for a band like this is that every time they announce a new album or a new touring schedule, we become inundated with a host of comment articles listing the best songs by the four-piece. There’s nothing wrong with such articles, they provoke debate and can often help you to remember some of the best songs that a band has had. My issue with such articles on The Killers is that they seemingly always forget what I believe to be the best song by the band, Midnight Show.
Taken from the debut album by the band, the phenomenal Hot Fuss, Midnight Show is the band on the top of their game and is one of the standout songs of an already fantastic record.
Across the track, we hear all the things that made people sit up and take notice of The Killers in the first place.
This is Flowers adopting the role of expert story teller as he talks from the point-of-view of a pair of lovers disappearing into the night to share a romantic encounter in private. The band carefully build up the story through a series of expertly deployed lyrics that create the sense of danger and excitement of the event that is being created, including the mental confusion and uncertainty. However, it would be wrong to think that this is just a love song, there is much more here to suggest that this is a song about lust and sexual desire rather than romantic feelings, and that for both people this is an escape from the everyday rather than a couple fleeing to start a life together. An idea that only further leads to the intrigue of the tale being spun by the band.
“You’ve got a real short skirt, I want to look up”
Comment must also be made of the frankly incredible instrumentation across the track. That downright mind blowing bass in verses by Mark Stroemer is enough on it’s own to make this track unmissable, but it is supported and augmented by everything else that surrounds it. Across the verses the lead guitar by Dave Keuning, the aforementioned bass, and the excellent drumming by Ronnie Vannucci Jnr., expertly help to create the sense of running away from your problems with someone. The instrumentation drives the whole sentiment and the audience is swept along for the ride. The addition of excellent and pulsing synths further help to develop the scene and the atmosphere.
The Killers boast a truly magnificent discography, with some of the best songs of the last twenty years. They continue to be a fresh and interesting presence on the global music scene and along with all their other hits, Midnight Show is a song that will be remembered for a long time after this band decide to call it a day.
She said she loved me…