It’s always quite a moment on a night out, whether it be at a club, a wedding, a disco, when the DJ starts playing that one song and before the infamous “I’m coming out of my cage” begins, the crowd has already completely lost their shit. I am of course talking about Mr Brightside, which has become a British anthem – seriously, I reckon we’re just all born knowing the lyrics.
Last weekend, I went to the annual British Summer Time event in Hyde Park, headlined by The Killers. For me, this was a moment that I can honestly say I’ve spent my whole life looking forward to. I grew up with The Killers. My parents (and aunt and uncle) are the biggest Killers fans, and their music has just always been playing – long car journeys, when we get ready in the morning, when we sit in the garden, even in the background as we eat dinner! (I also think Brandon Flowers is the one guy me and my mum would fight over).
This is my third year going to the event (my first being in 2015 when I saw Taylor Swift, as well as seeing Florence and the Machine last year) and it really is one of the things I look most forward to. There always one headliner on over the seven days it runs for that will take your interests; other than the Killers, the event was also headlined by Kings of Leon, Phil Collins, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Justin Bieber and Green Day, so there really is something for everybody.
The support (I say support, but it’s like a mini festival so I guess they’re not really support) were eighties electro band Tears for Fears, and Elbow. Whilst I can’t admit to knowing much of their music (and I did sneak away and take advantage of the toilets and bars not being as busy whilst they were on), Tears for Fears played some crowd pleasers, and as there was a wide range of people at the concert, many there did appreciate the throwback, my mother being one of them. Elbow were also quite nice to listen to whilst sitting drinking a Pimms enjoying a sunny Sunday evening in London.
(Also, YES Tears for Fears playing the Lorde version of Everybody Wants to Rule the World before their own. They clearly appreciate my queen)
In terms of the event itself, I love it. It’s perfect for people like myself who like the festival vibe and great music, but not sure they’re quite ready for the hardcore, overnight festival experience just yet. I was lucky enough to be in the VIP Summer Garden area which gives you access to premium view, but we walked around the whole park to get food and there’s so much going on. It’s a really family friendly event, with things for people of all ages and feels like a safe and happy environment. I was also surprised to discover that they had a phone charging point and a pharmacy, selling everything you’d need from suncream (they must have made a fortune selling suncream alone) to sanitary towels and baby headphones.
They also have a great selection of food and drink places (though I must admit, the prices were rather extortionate, but it’s to be expected at places like that – just for reference, a chicken burger, which was basically a bun and a chicken fillet, cost £7.50 – what’s that all about!?). The drinks were very nice though – I’d recommend the Passionfruit cocktail or if you find the Gin bar, the raspberry gin – and a perfect companion to the hot weather London was enjoying that weekend (seriously, it was roasting. There was no shade at all). I’d recommend taking a picnic blanket to sit on whilst you wait around or listen to the early acts otherwise you’ll be covered in grass, which isn’t that big a deal but it’s nice to have a cosy place to sit.
Now for the part you’re all waiting to hear about. The Killers. Oh My God. They are incredible. If you ever have the chance to see them live, take it. My mum had seen them live around the time Sam’s Town came out at Wembley Stadium, but she said this was even better. They’ve done Hyde Park before and you can tell they’re well experienced with large crowds like this.
The main event begun with pink confetti blasting into the crowd and the band, led by a handsome Mr Flowers clad in a rather funky pink suit, walked out playing their new single The Man. The crowd was already firmly in the palm of their hands. The atmosphere was insane. They continued to play hit after hit, even slowing it down with a piano version of Human before bursting into the actual version. They also paid tribute to the ten year anniversary of Sam’s Town’s release, with Brandon changing jackets halfway through because it wasn’t what the person who wrote Sam’s Town would wear.
Brandon Flowers is one of the great performers of our generation. I’ve always said Taylor Swift is first and foremost an entertainer – say what you want about how voice or her music, but she knows how to put on a bloody good show. Brandon Flowers not only has an exceptional voice, but the way he moves around the stage and interacts with the crowd really does create the perfect atmosphere.
Of course, the band could only end with one song: Mr Brightside. Remember that feeling I mentioned at the start? Well this was that, times about one thousand. All shit was lost, people didn’t care what they looked like and everyone was SCREAMING the lyrics. It really was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.
Halfway through the show, Brandon had them put a picture of the sold out poster of the concert. They may have been away a while, but the Killers really have returned right back on top – and Killers fans like myself are LOVING it.