Our first taste of what was to come later in the night came in the form of the very gifted, Mr. Ted Sablay. For those of you who aren’t familiar with his solo work; Ted is the touring guitarist of The Killers. He released his debut solo album, “You’ll be back here soon,” just last year and tonight was a showcase of guitar and vocal arrangements of those songs. No smoke, no mirrors, no bullshit; Sablay very humbly delivered one hell of a performance. “I’m a lover, I’ve got a lot of love to give, if it’s cool with you” he proclaimed, as he launched into a mid-tempo chug and heart churning lyrics. Okay…so this guy can definitely sing; what is this guy not great at doing? Opting for an electric solo adaptation, Ted’s guitar strings resonated brightly with each strum of the pick as he Springsteened his way through his short but powerful set.
In a manner reminiscent of The Old Grey Whistle Test or Top of the Pops; The Lemon Twigs brought the element of raw rock to tonight’s show. This band has retro elements from late 60s/early 70s pop bands like The Mamas and the Papas, Sweet, the twang of The Byrds but also the swagger of Marc Bolen and a hint of progressive rock bands like Yes. To drive home the talent of this group, throughout their set, they would rotate and switch who was playing which instruments. If that sounds like a lot to take in, it is. These guys can REALLY play and REALLY sing. And even though you might catch glimpses of influences, they also don’t sound like anyone else and have modernized their arrangements. The Twigs put on a seriously high energy performance. Yet they somehow managed to maintain an almost casual jam room session atmosphere as they switched instruments and made adjustments to each other’s gear. This incredible four-piece from Long Island have made the best parts of the 70’s come back with a vengeance.
What once started as a four piece from humble Las Vegas beginnings, The Killers have morphed into one of the most lethal stage acts of all time. The early 2000’s nostalgia hit hard when the band erupted into crowd pleasers, “Somebody told me” and “When you were young.” Brandon Flowers led the crowd through a sermon of rock’n’roll singalongs throughout the night. Old Fremont Street scenes and desert landscapes and skylines served as a backdrop on the video wall. The bright neon infinity symbol keyboard stand served more as an electric pulpit, and the show really felt like you could be in a church or spectating old school Vegas entertainment. Throughout the night, Brandon Flowers called upon the crowd, “Can I get an amen??” and the proudly cheered on. He brandished a purple blazer in his signature rock-crooner style. Picture the Rat Pack mixed with Bryan Ferry and Freddie Mercury but with lasers, cinematic lighting, and incredible stage production. Last on the setlist before the encores started was “All These Things I’ve Done” with a lengthy breakdown and chant, “I’ve got soul but…I’m not a soldier” which would make a believer out of anyone! The apex of the night was reached when the band played their 2004 hit “Mr. Brightside” as a perfect closer.