March Madness Music Festival in Dallas brought out three days of free, musical entertainment. On Day 2, the Coke Zero Countdown brought out The Killers,who took the stage at Reunion Park despite warnings of inclement weather. Rukkus toughed it out for the rainy set and it was totally worth it.
The Killers Perform at the March Madness Music Festival
The sun had finally come out when The Killers came onstage a few minutes earlier than their set time. It was still unclear if lightning would force the concert to be moved indoors and even the band was unsure how the concert would go. Flowers even commented, “I’ve got a few ground rules I want to set: if you see lightning, warn me so I can get the hell off this stage, and I want everyone to stay warm and have fun.”
From the first song, “Mr. Brightside,” the crowd was loud and ecstatic. Rain and temperatures in the 50s also had the side effect of scaring off all but true fans of the band, who cheered with the beginning chords of every song and sang along with every word. Despite the weather, an inescapably electric vibe filled the crowd of thousands. Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr. and especially Brandon Flowers were impressed by the energy of the crowd and fed off of it. Even though there was light rain in the middle of their set, the turnout stayed to listen to The Killers ferociously tearing into old and new songs.
Brandon Flowers introduced their sublime cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now” by saying, “Tiffany stole this song from Tommy James and the Shondells and we’re stealing it back.” Despite most of the attendees being in their teens and twenties, a good part of them sang along and cheered as Brandon Flowers stood on the edge of the stage and pounded his heart with his fist to the beat of the song.
Flowers said to the audience, “This is my favorite one tonight,” leading into “Read My Mind.” At another point he said, “It’s Saturday night, it’s Saturday night…I know we’re in the middle of a field, but I hope you remembered to wear your dancing shoes.” There was no need to encourage dancing though, as the gathering pressed closer and closer to the stage.
The audience never for a moment settled down, as there was a constant roar of singing and cheering especially for “Smile Like You Mean It,” “Somebody Told Me,” “Human,” and “For Reasons Unknown.” The Killers played every song as pure bombastic rock. At the point in which “All These Things That I’ve Done” rolls into, “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier,” the crowd was singing so fiercely, Brandon Flowers happily let them sing the refrain over and over before joining in.
The joyful spirit that The Killers played with is so rarely seen by a band that is in the middle of a long tour. They seemed to be having fun playing to an audience hanging on every note and willing to brave the weather. It must have been a nice change for a band like The Killers, used to playing large venues where the people closest to the stage are normally those who can pay the ticket price and not the biggest fans.
The second to last song, “Jenny Was A Friend of Mine,” and the last song of the night, “When You Were Young,” sent the audience into a fever pitch. Of course, when it was all over, The Killers had left the grateful audience wanting more.
1. Mr. Brightside
2. Shot at the Night
4. The Way It Was
5. Smile Like You Mean It
6. Somebody Told Me
8. I Think We’re Alone Now
9. For Reasons Unknown
10. From Here On Out
11. A Dustland Fairytale
12. Read My Mind
14. All These Things That I’ve Done
15. Jenny Was A Friend of Mine
16. When You Were Young
Article by Kate McCrory