By: Jordan Balls
Photos by: Emily Posterano
As a collective group, Torontonian music fans would like to thank the World Cup of Hockey (WCOH) 2016 organisers for bringing one of the world’s biggest bands, The Killers, to play a one-off show in our wonderful city. The news of the Las Vegas band’s appearance in the 6ix came just a week before the performance itself, along with the release of tickets for a mere $25. Though the band headlined the 2016 edition of WayHome Festival, which takes place in nearby Oro-Medonte, ON, they have not appeared in Toronto since their 2012 tour supporting their fourth album Battle Born (2012). The rare performance took place in honour of the beginning of the 2016 WCOH, which Toronto is hosting from Sept. 17 through Oct. 1. The Killers, who recently became a four piece after bassist Mark Stoermer announced that he would no longer tour with the band, are currently spending time in the studio recording their upcoming fifth album.
The Killers delivered a hit-filled performance, opening with none other than “Mr. Brightside,” arguably their most recognisable song, followed by “When You Were Young.” The latter is taken from Sam’s Town (2006) which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. These two songs were broadcast live on Sportsnet in conjunction with the WCOH festivities. Frontman Brandon Flowers went full 1950s crooner for an acoustic cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” a particular highlight. Despite a slightly dodgy sound setup, Flowers’s vocals sounded fantastic, as did the rest of the band on their respective instruments. The gig ended with an absolutely barnstorming rendition of Hot Fuss’s (2004) “All These Things That I’ve Done.” which saw a crowd wide singalong of the famous hook, “I got soul but I’m not a soldier.”
The format of the concert unfortunately made for some shortcomings. The outside venue, the WCOH Fan Village, was specially built in the Distillery District for the week-long event, and so didn’t have the acoustic quality, nor the stage set up of a proper venue. Although The Killers were the headlining act, the doors opened around four hours prior to their appearance on stage. Comedian Jay Baruchel hosted a series of musical performances, by Zak O’Bryan “I rise with my red hair / And I eat men like air.” – Plath Photo by Emily Posteraro athlete appearances and more entertainment prior to the gig’s 8:20 p.m. start time, which meant that many of the audience members were not there for The Killers, but for the hockey. As such, the crowd was relatively lifeless, meaning that sphere.
It also meant that the band played a condensed, yet satisfying set of only 14 songs. However, they made sure to perform mainly their greatest hits to keep the crowd entertained. Though the setting wasn’t ideal, The Killers showed why they are one of the biggest bands of the 21st century. Now, back to waiting for album number five.
This article was originally published on our old website at https://thenewspaper.ca/the-arts/the-killers-take-the-cup/.