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The Killers rock the Strip to count in 2023

Updated January 3, 2023 - 10:05 am

Plant seeds, and flowers bloom. Drop hints, and ideas grow.

This could well be the case for the Killers and front man Brandon Flowers entering 2023. The Las Vegas band bounded through its New Year’s Eve show at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan on Saturday night. The NYE countdown was an instrumental run of “Auld Lang Syne,” a cannon burst of confetti, followed by a blazing run of “Mr. Brightside.”

It was an appropriate way to cap a year in which the superstar rockers played their home town seven times. They played the Chelsea three times in April before Saturday’s capper. These shows have all been in the Killers’ “Imploding The Mirage” tour.

As I have previously, I pitched a question to Flowers about the band playing an extended engagement or residency in Vegas.

“I hope it doesn’t get played out, because it seems every week, there’s a new residency that’s cropping up,” said Flowers, wearing a black Gucci jacket and matching slacks during a backstage chat about an hour before the show. “You look at how Celine Dion and Elton John were sort of these front-runners for this. Those aren’t names you would think for spearheading something like that. But it’s been a cool thing. It’s been great for the city. I don’t rule it out.”

How about a “where” for such a Killer series?

“I’ve always talked about being drawn to Caesars Palace, and I love being in that room,” said Flowers, who has recently been impressed by video of Adele’s Colosseum production. “I love being in that room. (The Chelsea) is a good room, but there’s something magical at the Colosseum.”

Magical like a carpet, even. The Flowers’ home in Park City, Utah is decorated with a vintage carpet from the Caesars Palace casino.

And, in a chat in November, prior to the band’s performance at the Las Vegas Grand Prix/Formula One fan event at Caesars’ Garden of the Gods, Flowers waxed nostalgic about his days at the resort’s Omnimax theater complex.

As Flowers said, “It is very interesting to me to see what became of it.”

That’s because it’s where the Colosseum now stands.

Suffice to say, the iconic resort has long been prominent in Flowers’ stong bond with his hometown.

As for when such a residency could happen, the Killers close their tour May 5-7 in Atlanta. After they play Leeds Festivals in England in late-August. Overall, they have 30 dates booked in the new year, after rolling through 90 in 2022.

The band just returned from a short break prior to the NYE show. The seemingly unflappable Flowers said he was a little edgy prior to the performance.

“You know, there’s a monotony to it, when you’re on the road,” said Flowers, as the band was just coming off a nine-show tour of Australia and New Zealand. “But it’s been nine days since we played in Sydney. And now it’s like something is switched and I’m back to being nervous, like we’re starting over again. It’s incredible how that happens.”

The band blended such fan favorites as “Somebody Told Me,” “Boy” and “Human” with a crisp cover of Eric Clapton’s “After Midnight” and Elvis’ “Cant Help Falling in Love.”

Veering from the norm, drummer and co-founder Ronnie Vannucci called a fan named Diana to the stage to play drums on “For Reasons Unknown.” Vannucci switched to guitar, with Flowers on bass.

The result was, um, not terrible. Flowers called out, “She made it her own!”

Prior to the show, Flowers recalled a pre-Killers New Year’s Eve gig at a venue longtime Las Vegas locals can appreciate. Flowers held forth at Josef’s Restaurant, the French brassiere operated by celeb chef Joseph Keller, at Aladdin’s Desert Passage. That’s today’s Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

In the early 2000s, Flowers was a food runner, host and (at least for one NYE show) headliner at Josef’s.

“Before the Killers, I was in a band called Blush Response — our fans might know about this,” Flowers said. “We set up our synths on the floor. That was actually my first gig on the Strip.”

Flowers says he’s going to take some time off after “Imploding the Mirage” closes in the spring.

“I’m excited to have some more time with my family,” I’ve got you know, as you know, three boys that are right at a very impressionable age so I’m happy I’m going to be home for a while.”

Asked if there are any rock stars in the family, Flowers laughed and said, “Well, there’s angst happening. It’s a breeding ground for angst, definitely. One of them might come out of it a rocker.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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