BY CHARISSA CHE
It’s hard to believe that fourteen years have gone by since we first puzzled over what Brandon Flowers was agonizing over in “Somebody Told Me.” In the years since Hot Fuss, the Killers have progressively traded in the brooding, enigmatic charm that placed them on the map for more evocative, soaring soundscapes. From their first album, they made their way into the narrative-heavy territory of Sam’s Town, then waxed philosophical in Day & Age. Then, while jury was still out on whether we are human or dancer, they embodied Americana in Battle Born. On Tuesday, Feburary 6, they will make a stop at the Vivint Smart Home Arena to give Salt Lake audiences a long-awaited performance of their landmark albums, alongside their latest release, Wonderful Wonderful.
The album marks yet another paradigm shift for the Vegas natives. Unlike Sam’s Town or Battle Born, there is no readily-identifiable cohesive theme besides, perhaps, the beneath-the-surface chaos that drives Flowers’ own life: “Rut” covers PTSD (and was inspired by Flowers’ wife, Tana’s experience with the disorder); “Have All the Songs Been Written?” was paradoxically inspired by writer’s block; “Tyson vs Douglas” hearkens back to the 1990 boxing match between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas, when Flowers reckoned with watching his hero fall. One of the LP’s most lighthearted yet poignant contributions is lead single, “The Man,” which has its protagonist delusionally flexing his masculinity at his haters while he still could.
Yet throughout their metamorphoses, the Vegas band’s core identity as masterful storytellers have remained intact. There’s something about how effortlessly Flowers’ voice bends and eases its way around his every syllable that serves as a distinctive motif all by itself. Go here to see the Killers live next Tuesday.