The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


The Killers (live at the Sziget Festival, Budapest)

The KillersReview Snapshot:
The Killers close Budapest's 15th Sziget festival with a Sam's Town-heavy set and a Joy Division cover.

The CLUAS Verdict? 7.5 out of 10

Full review:
If there’s such a thing as being too good, The Killers are it. Called into action early on the last night of Sziget 2007 after Chris Cornell failed to show, the band never put a foot wrong in a 90 minute set. Brandon Flowers, in a Victorian looking black-white outfit that looked right he’d been out shopping, went right into 'Sam’s Town'.

It didn’t help dapper Flowers and co that the only other English-language act to measure up to the whole evening on the main stage – after Cornell pulled out - was Juliette Lewis and her Licks, and that’s setting a low bar. Hanoi Rocks down on the HammerWorld stage deserved a slot more than Lewis and co, inexplicably still securing main stages on Europe’s festival circuit with their been-done dive bar rock.

On a stage done up in fairy lights and a steer skull over the keyboards, the boys from Las Vegas haven’t a bad song in their back catalogue. Each Killers song sounded as good as it did on the album. But you’re waiting for some kind of unpredictability, some thing that says they’re humans, not gods.
The Killers don’t need hand-me downs but the nearest thing we got to something off-the-perfect-path all evening was a Joy Division  cover, 'Shadow Play'. “Unfortunately this isn’t one of our songs,” said lead singer Flowers before he went into a synthesizer-heavy rendering of this Cohen jewel. The fan beneath a Russian flag behind me screamed for “Meesther Briitside” and he duly got it. The Russian flag was ominously blotted out by a sea of Union Jacks however. Proof perhaps that Brits love this Brit-loving band and even tonight's version of 'Shadow Play' is old news in the UK, having been performed by the Killers at this year's NME awards.

'This River Is Wide' was introduced by Flowers as one of the band favourite songs and delivered like he meant that. The set burned brightest towards the end, on 'Reasons Unknown', before the band came on a third time and briefly for the lovely 'Exitlude'. 90 minutes of perfect rock n roll. But come on Brandon, you’re allowed to make mistakes.

Mark Godfrey

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Nuggets from our archive

2008 - A comprehensive guide to recording an album, written by Andy Knightly (the guide is spread over 4 parts).