What We Heard: The Killers, live at The Grand Ole Opry, 5/12/13
Last Sunday, I was privileged enough to catch The Killers perform at one of Nashville’s most famed venues, The Grand Ole Opry House. For me, this was pretty special on two counts. First and foremost, I love The Killers. They have certainly come a long way from that unintelligible, yet danceable, “you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend” song. Perhaps more exciting was my second reason, the nearly 100 years of history behind the Grand Ole Opry. Granted, America’s longest running live country/bluegrass music and variety show actually opened at the Ryman Auditorium, but the stage at the 30 year old Grand Old Opry House is cut from the original, and its just as scuffed and worn from some pretty famous pairs of cowboy boots.
Just so I can get this bit out of the way, the show was great! In recent years, I think The Killers have tried to distance themselves, albeit not completely, from their synth pop roots and move more closely to the anthemic American ballads of Meatloaf or Bruce Springsteen. Given their newfound lyrical imagery of great American landscapes and nostalgic nods to growing up in the Midwest, its no surprise they chose to play on the same stage that has been graced by the likes of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams. Some great moments include a surprise guest performance by Brad Paisley, who frontman Brandon Flowers affectionately deemed “the sheriff of Nashville,” covers of “Ring of Fire” and “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and an epic encore of my favorite Killer’s song, “When You Were Young.”
My review of the show does not come without gripes, however, and just because people do not use the Internet to complain nearly enough, here we go. I can honestly say that the best part about seeing any band in concert is getting to experience the performance with my own eyes in real life and not on a small smart phone screen. Retina display or no retina display, the concert experience is not about holding your camera/phone above or in front of your head the entire show, which seems to be an alarming and unfortunate trend these days. So, to the dudes sitting in front of me taking shaky video of the entire show (despite the signs asking patrons not to video tape the concert) let’s ask ourselves a few questions before we take out our bright, distracting devices: Will I or anyone I know ever watch this footage after today? Does every picture or video I take just look like a bunch of bright colored lights? How great is this video going to sound if I ever play it back? Am I being inconsiderate to the people behind me and disrespectful to the band that genuinely wants to share in the experience with me?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to a few pictures here and there, but come on guys. Put down your phone and enjoy the show! ^Jitin