The Killers performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Sunday night, it was the band’s first show since the horrific Las Vegas country music festival shooting last weekend and Tom Petty’s death. They covered Petty’s “American Girl” and “The Waiting.” The Killers are the world’s most famous band to hail from Las Vegas, so it was definitely an emotional night.
Brandon Flowers said that they’d play more Petty, but those were the only two songs they currently knew how to play. Flowers also paid tribute to the Las Vegas shooting victims during “The Way It Was,” saying that we shouldn’t let a ‘motherfucker’ change the way we live our lives. He also mentioned that some of the best concerts he’s ever seen have been in Vegas.
The set was undoubtably the highlight of the weekend. Despite the loss of Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer as live members, The Killers still put on an incredible performance for one of their first high profile full length festival gigs without Keuning. It’s a testament to Brandon Flowers’ charisma as a frontman, the majority of bands would not be able to survive the loss of half of the band’s original lineup when it comes to the live act. It definitely does feel more like The Brandon Flowers Experience though (featuring Ronnie Vanucci), as Dave Keuning was a huge part of The Killers’ live act, but The Brandon Flowers Experience seems like it’s one of the best live acts in rock. The Head and the Heart also put on a solid performance before The Killers.
Overall the ACL fest had very tight security surrounding the venue and inside, and it felt like one of the safest places on earth. The variety of food and drinks was the best I’ve ever seen at a festival, as was the bathroom setup. There were helpful ACL ‘experts’ available all around Zilker Park willing to answer any questions. If you have a chance to check out ACL in the future, make sure to go!