Mama and I saw The Killers at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium last night. The opening bands, Solar Cake and Howling Bells were, well, as crappy as other opening bands. Between the two openers, I have to give the prize to Solar Cake, since each and everyone of the Howling Bells songs sounded alike: slow tempo over processed shrieky vocals and over modulated guitars. Ugh!

The one thing that we noticed right away was the lousy audio mix for all of the bands. The vocalists were not mixed high enough and the bass was overpowering everything else in the auditorium. Not that the Bill Graham is known for its outstanding acoustics, but we have seen many other acts play there and sound great, including Green Day, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Cake, Smash Mouth, and Third Eye Blind. You can get good sound at the Bill Graham, but not so much last night.

The Killers set design was very well done. The lighting and visuals were awe inspiring during their intro. Images were projected onto a net that covered the stage for about three minutes before the band went on and the excitement of the crowd was deafening. Once the set started, the vocals were drowned out in the mix throughout. However, the lighting and energy from the band and the crowd more than made up for the sound quality.

The crowd sang along (and danced along) to all of their hits, including Somebody Told Me, Smile Like You Mean It, Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, and Mr. Brightside. Still, it would have been cool to hear the lyrics coming out of Brandon mouth instead of the five thousand people in the audience throughout the entire concert. Brandon Flowers is an amazing frontman and it was a pleasure to see him, even if we could barely hear him. Rockstar!

Ultimately, a good show thanks to crowd and the band, no thanks to the sound engineers.


  1. Fabe, saw the killers @ staples the following day. I thought exactly the same thing. The vocals were barely audible. I thought my eardrums melted during the Howling Bells set. All in all, the killers aren’t a big stadium band…I think I’d have to see them at a more intimate setting.

    #1 by sant — April 13, 2007 @ 7:07 am

  2. Sant, I remember when we saw The Eagles at the Staples Center the sound was CD-quality pristine throughout the entire concert! I think the sound engineers that are traveling with The Killers are deaf and it sounds perfect to them.

    #2 by Nugget — April 13, 2007 @ 8:34 am

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