Brandon Flowers' solo show in NYC: A killer night

Brandon-FlowersWho needs the rest of The Killers anyway? All joking aside—The Killers are great!—the band’s frontman Brandon Flowers, who announced in April that he was going out on his own, appeared without his bandmates last night at NYC’s Highline Ballroom and quickly proved that the solo thing suits him very well, thank you very much.

The thing that was most stunning about Flowers’ show was just how much the crowd was with him, even though he’s only officially released one track from his upcoming album, Flamingo. The second song of the evening, single “Crossfire,” had pretty much the entire crowd singing along rapturously (maybe because it’s really all most people know so far?)—and that was even without an appearance by Charlize Theron, who memorably pops up in the song’s video.

Brandon’s big moment, however, came a bit later in the under-an-hour set, when he covered “Bette Davis Eyes,” which Jackie DeShannon originated in 1974 before Kim Carnes made it a hit in 1981. (Watch a bootleg clip from an earlier show of Flowers’ version of “Bette Davis Eyes.”) The singular synth melody at the beginning opened it beautifully, and then Flowers owned it with his vocals, too. Maybe this cover will make the album? We can hope. Another highlight of the night was “Magdalena,” a folksy yet danceable track that has Flowers wailing throughout.

Overall, the show felt right for Flowers because of his stage presence—he was believable, very into what he was doing, and (see his Santa Fe-inspired vest above) completely adorable, especially with his new military-inspired crew cut. He just seemed joyful, and that bled immediately into the crowd, including yours truly.

Are you all pumped to hear what Flowers has cooking for the rest of his solo debut? Can he make it without the rest of The Killers behind him? All signs point to yes, but let me know what you think in the comments below.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.

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Comments (20 total) Add your comment
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  • alex

    I love the Killers and Flowers.. Springsteen rip off blah blah blah – they write passionate wonderful songs with powerful vocals. Their music gets you excited and I’m excited to hear Flowers on his own. I like Crossfire a lot and am looking forward to the rest of the album.

  • Noelle

    He is amazing. Can’t wait for the album!

  • Gaby

    It really was the most amazing show – the songs are all fantastic, and he just owned the night! And his happiness did show – I’ve never seen such big smiles.

  • Niix Starkyller

    And who are those singers he’s with? Cuz they are Killer good.

  • ECM

    I don’t want the Killers to break up, but I fully support Brandon’s solo gig. If he can pull this off, with the occasional new Killers album every few years or so, I will be a happy girl. :)

    • Gina

      I completely agree. I love the Killers so much and they are my favorite musicians, but I will always support Brandon in his career. Brandon has said that his solo career isn’t the end of the Killers, so hopefully there will be another Killers album in the next few years, and many more after.

  • kim

    I love Brandon Flowers & The Killers! Brandon is awesome & will do very well but I would also like to see The Killers reunite someday.

  • Sadie

    I love Brandon’s solo stuff! Magdalena and Jilted Lovers are fantastic! I was unsure about Swallow It at first, but I bought it on iTunes a few days ago and I’ve had it on repeat ever since.

    People don’t need to worry about the future of The Killers, I read Brandon withheld a song from Flamingo for the next TK record. He’s said he expects them to be back in 2012. They all fully support him and just needed a break from touring.

  • Dig Out Your Soul

    The Killers haven’t broken up, it’s just that the other guys wanted some time off but Brandon wanted to keep working on some project (workaholic much?). At least that’s what I’ve been told. The singer of Sigur Rós is carrying out a solo project too while the other members of his band spend some leisure time with their families.

  • Butters

    Like you Brandon but to be real you are better with your bandmates. :D

  • LD

    Flower’s solo stuff is decent, but is no comparison to The Killers as a whole. Hopefully this solo thing doesn’t overtake the band.

  • helen weston

    i love the killers, their songs never disapoint. seen them twice. really got the crowd going. i hope the killers get back together, but brandon is v talented, also brilliant on his own .

  • Jim in Bath UK

    Once a shrinking violet, great to hear Brandons stage presence was impressive.Its been great to follow his development.The solo stuff is good ,however he is still world class with his mates! Come back soon, mob handed!

  • Ian

    It was a good show, very fun. Short as hell though!

  • TC

    I think people are making the mistake that this is supposed to SOUND like the Killers and he is supposed to still be the epic frontman we’ve come to know. The solo stuff is different, more stripped down and it’s a whole different side of Brandon. I was in this crowd, and I’ve been at about 25 Killers shows and I have NEVER seen Brandon has happy as he was on Thursday night. I hope the solo album is a smashing success.

  • David


    I am such a long time listener of The Killers. I’ve been supporting this band for seven years. For seven years, I’ve bought every album. I’ve spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to show support for this ingenious band. I have extremely high feelings for The Killers. They’ve been with me for the last seven years, and have helped me through difficult times in my life.

    Brandon Flowers is perhaps, one of the most genius men of this era. Lyrically and musically talented, he speaks right from his soul. He stand’s up for his music, and he’s right.. his fan’s are, “smart.” The Killers give such a beautiful twist on music, it just never seems like I’ll know what to expect. You know what? I was right, as soon as I heard the preview to Flamingo.

    Also, I want to reassure everyone.. The Killers will continue making music. There is nothing stopping them, they’re too moral to ever brake up.

    So.. some thoughts on Flamingo. I love a lot of the lyrical meanings especially in.. “Hard Enough,” “Playing with Fire,” and “Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts.” However, I am really in love with the way the preview “Only The Young” sounds. It will probably be my favorite.

    I also listened to a lot of live videos of Brandon. He’s doing really well, amazing to see the audience support. Though, I kinda miss the synthesizer line in the begging of Losing Touch. I personally loved a lot of The Killers work when they hit a bit of an electro theme. Especially in songs like “On Top,” “Everything Will Be Alright,” and the more indie feeling in, “This Is The World We Live In..”

    I know my post is rather long, but it expresses a lot of my thoughts. Heh, feel free to comment back.

    • Pidge

      I am only 12 but I live in CT and i wish I had known about the show. I’m a big fan, though not as big as you, and I can’t wait for another tour, so maybe I can see them. I think your post was really cool and the fact that you’re a hardcore fan is really cool!!! *respect*

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