The Killers joked they were staging a “super-spreader” event as they finally took to the stage in Middlesbrough on Wednesday (01.06.22) night.
The ‘Mr. Brightside’ hitmakers had originally been due to play the Riverside Stadium in 2020 but the gig was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and after bursting onto the stage with a shower of confetti, frontman Brandon Flowers reflected on the last two years.
He said: “Covid ushered in a lot of uncertainty, it forced a lot of isolation. But Middlesbrough take a look around you, ain’t nobody isolating tonight.
“This is a super-spreader event. We’re spreading peace, we’re spreading love, and we’re spreading rock ‘n’ roll!”
As the packed-out crowd danced and sang along to hits including ‘Jenny Was A Friend of Mine’, ‘Human’ – accompanied by a striking visual of dozens of dancers in tiny squares projected onto the big screens – ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, and ‘For Reasons Unknown’, Brandon was particularly delighted to spot a cardboard cutout of Queen Elizabeth in the crowd, in reference to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
He quipped: “We were raised on The Smiths so we thought she was dead. I’m pleased to hear she’s alive.”
As well as their well-known cover of Joy Division’s ‘Shadowplay’, the band also treated fans to their take on ‘The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face’, one of the few subdued moments in a high-energy set packed with confetti cannons, streamer showers, and dazzling lasers.
After ending with lively versions of ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ and ‘Caution’, it’s no surprise the crowd were desperate for more and the group didn’t disappoint, returning to the stage for an energetic performance of ‘Spaceman’ before an electro version of ‘Mr. Brightside’ had the crowd ripped into a fever before segueing into an explosive full version for the finale.
Support from the evening came from Manic Street Preachers, who delighted the crowd with a career-spanning set taking in early hits including ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, ‘From Despair To Where’ and ‘You Love Us’, through to classics such as ‘Design For Life’ and closer ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’, and a version of last year’s single ‘Orwellian’.