Two days after melting thousands of faces during their headlining set at the inaugural Firefly Music Festival in Delaware, the Killers packed a rain-soaked crowd into the small confines of New York's 1500-capacity Webster Hall on Monday night (July 23) to play their first concert in the Big Apple in three years and officially kick off their promotional run for their forthcoming fourth album, "Battle Born."
In front of a faux-starry backdrop and navigating their set through a series of lasers and strobe lights, Brandon Flowers and co. efficiently rolled through the hits and four new tracks, including their U2-esque new single, "Runaways."
"You may not realize it," Flowers told the euphoric crowd halfway through the set, "but for a few boys from Las Vegas, it's intimidating to play in front of this." By that point, Flowers had already stripped off the leather jacket he sported during their opener, "Runaways," and had plowed through "Hot Fuss" standouts like "Somebody Told Me" and "Smile Like You Mean It" in a collared blue t-shirt.
The frontman spent much of the set stalking around the stage, pounding his chest and tinkering with synthesizers placed behind a light-up lightning bolt resembling the logo on the "Battle Born" album cover; meanwhile, the male-leaning audience raised their hands up for "Human's" still-patently-ridiculous chorus and let loose a few bro-hugs during the last song of the evening, "Sam's Town" single "When You Were Young." In between, "Mr. Brightside" made for a shimmering centerpiece, while set capper "All These Things That I've Done" was long, exhaustive and a total joy to witness from a place as intimate as Webster Hall.
Of the new material, "Miss Atomic Bomb" and "From Here On Out" chugged ahead at an even pace, while "Flesh and Bone" adopted an epic, Springsteensian vibe. "What are you afraid of?" Flowers sang on the latter track, before hollering, "And what are you made of!" as Dave Keuning's guitar crashed down upon his fiery vocals.
"Battle Born," the follow-up to 2008's "Day and Age," is due out Sept. 18. "Runaways" debuted at No. 22 on last week's Rock Songs chart.