The Killers, face of Las Vegas rock, a coup for Life Is Beautiful festival

“When you think of Vegas rock, or Vegas indie style,” Life Is Beautiful festival founder Rehan Choudhry says, “you think skinny jeans and dusty environment and denim jackets, and the desert and an old Chevy in neon lights.”

It sounds like he has the lyrics of just one Vegas rock band in mind.

But if The Killers aren’t the embodiment of Vegas rock, then who?

“I guess somebody had to (define it) at some point,” Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci says. “We’re not trying to do that, but we’re from Vegas, and …” he pauses to laugh, “I guess it just works out like that.

“Time definitely helps with the identifier, putting a face to a place and creating that image, I guess,” Vannucci adds. “It takes time to do that, too. It’s crazy to think that 10 years ago we released the first record. Next thing you know, it’ll be 20 years.”

The Killers were considered a key “get” to establish the two-day festival and give it early credibility. But the homecoming date as Sunday’s main event whets the appetite for a best-of compilation, “Direct Hits,” due Nov. 11, to celebrate those 10 years.

It was 2001 when guitarist Dave Keuning’s ads in local weeklies caught the attention of Brandon Flowers, a Gold Coast bellhop who sang and played keyboards in a group called Blush Response.

The first song they wrote together was called “Mr. Brightside,” and the “Hot Fuss” hit two years later also leads off the collection.

“We tried to come up with some other order to create this nice feeling and this arc, but it was so jumbled we just decided to do it in chronological order,” Vannucci says of the release.

“I’m a big Tom Petty fan and when I listened to that anthology (‘Through the Years’), that’s in chronological order too.”

Along with the 13 catalog tracks, the compilation includes the unreleased “Just Another Girl” and “Shot at the Night,” the latter promoted in a video offering more Vegas visuals: a minimovie of a hotel maid (Bella Heathcote) swept off her feet by a guest (Max Minghella).

“I like the kind of between-the-lines aspect of it. I like to see how it changes as time went on,” Vannucci says of the compilation. “I’m listening for, how did these guys grow as songwriters and players? How is the production changing?”

Vannucci, who played the Vegas rock scene in his earliest days with the band Attaboy Skip, signed on as The Killers’ drummer after watching an early gig at a local bar.

Once Mark Stoermer completed the lineup as bassist, The Killers polished their ’80s-inspired sound in Vannucci’s garage, or snuck into a rehearsal studio in the Alta Ham Fine Arts building at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

(In 2008, when the UNLV College of Fine Arts honored the band, Vannucci and Stoermer thanked the school and apologized for commandeering the free rehearsal space.)

The 2003 release of “Hot Fuss” soon had London, and later the folks over here, singing along to “Somebody Told Me.” But the ’80s synth-pop, New Order leanings gradually transformed into the more anthemic, sweeping sound of tunes such as “Miss Atomic Bomb” from last year’s “Battle Born.”

“You never know what’s around the corner though,” Vannucci says of the evolution.

Like most best-of compilations, “Direct Hits” is a contractual obligation to Island Records, but not one the label put a rush on. “If we wanted to wait another year it was fine, but it’s a good idea,” Vannucci says. “We’ve got enough for a CD, so put it out and move on to the next chapter.”

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like