The Killers, Glastonbury 2019

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Like Brandon Flowers I was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or, as it is better known, the Mormon church.

It’s worth pointing out that this didn’t involve polygamy.

The Church brought the curtain down on that a long time ago.

That means that neither one of us has more than one wife.

It also means that we both hold onto some beliefs that would be described, charitably, by people outside of the faith as, well, a bit weird.

I don’t know how involved Brandon is in Mormonism now.  Back in 2011 he made one of a series of short films for the Church under the umbrella title of “I’m a Mormon”.

I don’t have any particular involvement in the Mormon Church now and I guess that’s the major difference between me and Brandon Flowers.

Hmmmm?

Well, sure he is criminally good looking and I am, on a good day, somewhere near the middle of the “Not all that good looking” chart.

So we differ there too.

What’s that now?

Oh, right, obviously he is a multi-million selling recording artist and I am…not that.

But apart from that stuff we are like two peas in a p…

Pardon?

Yes.  It is true that he has beautiful teeth and I have…British teeth.

OK.

I get it.

Can we move on?

A lot of the indier than thou snobs who populate the darkest corners of social media platforms really have it in for The Killers and I think a lot of that is down to Flowers being a “person of faith” and is also, in part, down to the fact that they are wildly successful while the band they like are not.  Nothing makes those types angrier than bands who don’t have that haircut (you know the one) or chugging/jangling guitars being successful.  They also, I think, hate the fact that, correctly, Brandon Flowers adores both the Pet Shop Boys and The Smiths equally.  Those types of boys REALLY don’t like the Pet Shop Boys.

Me?

I love it when my friends become successful.

I love the Pet Shop Boys (I have ears and a soul).

I love The Smiths…sadly now despite Morrissey.

I love The Killers too.

Like Donny Osmond with even greater sex appeal, even greater teeth, and even better tunes Flowers owns the Glastonbury crowd long before “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” ends.  He struts, he preens, he grins, he sings, he shouts, he gesticulates and, generally, he looks like he is having all of the fun in the world all at the same time.  He is also the best dressed person in the field…a specially crafted suit that sits on the fine line between ridiculous and gorgeous, a quiff more perfect than Jimmy Dean in his prime and a smile wider than the stage he owns.

The rest of the band look like members of the Manson Family…all hair and, well, more hair on top.  They can play too.  600 concerts since their last headline appearance here suggests that they have worked hard at making this look and sound so effortless.  Rock riffs and pop glisten all melding together to send the crowd into a frenzy.

Many headliners at festivals end with a bang, trotting out all the big hits to make the audience forget the fact that they played their new album in its entirety over the previous hour or so.  That was never on the cards with The Killers…they have too many big hits to leave them to the end and so the entire set plays like a greatest hits show.  “Jenny…” is followed by “Somebody Told Me” which is followed by “Spaceman” which is followed by…well, you get the general idea.

There are some lovely little moments dotted throughout the set too like coming on stage to “Luck Be A Lady” by Sinatra, the fusion of pop, 80’s electro and gospel on “Shot at the Night”, the Marlboro Man intro to “The Man” complete with confetti and fireworks, the tease of “Human” before “Bling” and then ending the first part of the set with two of the most glorious pop songs of the past twenty years; “All These Things That I Have Done” and “When You Were Young”.

Had they left the stage for real at that point only the dullest of dullards could have complained.  It was a magnificent example of show, showmanship and show tunes all bathed in the glitter and glamour of indie rock ‘n’ roll.

But that wasn’t the end.

It was the beginning.

Because at that point they dragged on the Pet Shop Boys to do “You Were Always On My Mind”.

Take a minute.

Let that sink in.

Read it again.

I’m not making it up.

THIS, right here, happened…

Then Chris and Neil hung around for a bit to do “Human” which is a song so mad, so nonsensical, so infectious, so ridiculous and so perfect that it should probably be issued on the NHS as a cure for all our ills.

“GOODNIGHT GLASTONBURY”.

Bye everyone.

Nope.

Here comes Johnny “fucking” Marr.

Yup.

The actual Johnny Marr.

“What’s he doing here?” people asked.

This.

THIS.

In an instant all the fears about the very real possibility of Morrissey sending his creative peak into the same dustbin as Gary Glitter (albeit for very different reasons) were erased as we witnessed the greatest guitarist of his generation resurrecting his legacy by simply having someone who isn’t Morrissey sing one of his songs.

Genius.

When you have a song like “Mr Brightside” you can only do one thing with it and that’s what The Killers did with it.  They closed the worlds biggest (and probably best) music festival with it and sent 100,000 people back to their tents feeling much happier than they had any right to be in this muddled up world of ours.

He might not look a thing like Jesus but Brandon Flowers has healing powers.

Praise be.