A bright side but too inconsistent to die for
Missed opportunity ... The Killers.
IT'S the kind of show fans' dreams are made of: a band still big enough (just) to fill arenas, playing in a venue where even the folks at the back can see the whites of their eyes.
In this instance it was one made even more special from the start by the Killers leaving the house lights on for the duration of the opener, one of their most triumphant indie-pop anthems, Mr Brightside.
You could see from the frontman Brandon Flowers's ecstatic, almost disbelieving grin that they felt it, too, attacking that song and many that followed with the kind of conviction you might not expect from a band that could have phoned-in their performance and still made everyone's night.
Six years ago at the Entertainment Centre, they did a similar thing – that is, start with songs more suited to the biggest of encores. Only then they had just two studio albums from which to draw: the instant classic debut, Hot Fuss, and the gloriously ambitious Sam's Town. Now they have four, but those include the terrible Day & Age, released in 2008, and the current Battle Born, which is still not quite up there with former glories.
So instead of a set solely powered by flawless songs, we got one diluted by the sometimes likeable but rarely classic songs of recent times. For every scintillating oldie such as Somebody Told Me (which arrived after a fabulously murky, unrecognisable introduction) or the ever epic When You Were Young, there were the pedestrian likes of the power ballads Here with Me or A Dustland Fairytale.
There was a nice touch in a verse and chorus of Crowded House's Don't Dream it's Over, and All These Things That I've Done proved too stupendous to follow; it was literally a show stopper.
But these were merely among highlights of a gig that could have been an all-time great.