THE KILLERS + Ambulance Ltd + Surferosa @ Club Soda

By Oli Pulleybank - Boozehound Radio - 10/08/04

You know that band the Killers? With that song? You know, that one that goes like…Somebody told me…That you have a girlfriend…who looks like a boyfriend or some shit like that? With that crazy 80s beat thing? Yeah, well I went to their show.

Basically, the Killers would have been a dang good band in 1985. Their best stuff sounds like a good mix of Duran Duran and Depeche Mode, but I don't think the Killers'll be much more than a flash in the pan in 2004. Their songs just are a little bit too familiar and too formulated. It kinda seems like that one song will be played at 00's nights at bars 15 years from now, whereas the band will land on VH1's One Hit Wonders Countdown. But my predictions for their long-term viability aside, I have to say that I just wasn't that impressed with the show.

I first got a little bit peeved when they did that thing where they set up the whole stage and then wait for 25 minutes not doing anything and you can tell the band is just sitting backstage blowing a few more lines and thinking secretly how cool it is that there is a bunch of people out front who have to wait until they're good and ready. When they finally did come out, the crowd went crazy as only a group 15- to 24-year-old fans of 80s revival music can, as some people even went so far as to yell "woo" in a high-pitched manner.

Then the band started playing and the people were swaying and the security guard told me I couldn't smoke inside. They did get a lot of sound out of a guitar, bass, drums and occasional synth, and sounded pretty tight throughout the set. Thing is, the band is from Las Vegas, and though their sound is pure 80s, their act is pure lounge. From the disinterested crooning of the singer to the smiling, suited drummer, the band's onstage demeanor was right out of the Reno Hilton's Cocktail Hour. Trouble is, this music is ripe for dancing and I feel you gotta put a bit of energy into the whole thing to get the show going. It was fucking hot in there and the band was all in suit jackets, but it didn't look like anybody broke a sweat. Then after 25 minutes when the singer announced he was tired and wanted to play one more song, I felt sorry for the saps that paid $30 or whatever the going rate was. So they broke into Somebody Told Me, and of course it was stuck in my head for the next fucking 48 hours.

So here's the scoop: the band played well, they didn't put any energy into the set, the songs were fun but nothing new and I got a hunch they ain't never gonna sell out Club Soda again. So next time they come around you can head out to Rainbow and see 'em if ya feel like you missed out on something big from the 80s. Or you can just spend your $25 dollars at Café Campus on a fucking Tuesday. At least you'll get three pitchers and laid.