Live Review: The Killers / Manic Street Preachers – Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry 28.05.2022

Rob Loud

As the temperature drops but the rain holds off over Coventry, Manic Street Preachers start this epic night with a bang by treating the audience to their classics. They’re an awesome warm up for a mixed crowd and watching from the rafters, you can see a great deal of dad dancing courtesy of both the audience and MSP. “She Sells Sanctury” (a cover of The Cult) is a nice surprise to be added into their setlist but “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” is clearly the winner for this audience. Time ticks on between MSP and our main act and theres a cheer from this 40,000 strong audience as artwork flashes on the screen and dramatic music fills the arena.

The band & back-up singers take a casual walk on to stage before lead man Brandon Flowers appears from under the stage. Confetti is fired over the audience half way through “My Own Soul’s Warning“; it’s not the first time confetti features during the night which is great ’cause the people LOVE confetti. “My Own Soul’s Warning” is a surprisingly good way to start the night as the crowd is jumping from the first note and they’re so much louder than expected. “Enterlude” going straight into “When You Were Young” pumps the audience up and certainly starts to set the tone for the night.

As we make our way through the night, it becomes clear that the newer tracks don’t pick up the same traction as the classics but that doesn’t stop people from trying. “Spaceman” & “Smile Like you Mean It” turn everything back up to 11 after “Shot at the Night” and whilst “All These Things That I’ve Done” is one of the slower tracks of the event, it doesn’t slow this crowd down. Phone torches fill the stadium and changing the tempo of ‘I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier’ keeps everyone on their toes. As they keep it slow for just a little bit longer, “A Dustland Fairytail” gradually gets more of the crowd joining in before throwing us back into the action with “Runaways“. There’s not a single person in the audience who doesn’t answer Brandon‘s request of having all hands in the air for “Read My Mind“; the intro is instantly recognisable and is welcomed with open arms.

Hot Fuss‘ & ‘Sam’s Town‘ are the clear favourites from the set list and even though The Killers end on “Caution“, they leave the stadium gagging for more. The best is certainly saved for last. There is a sea of phones in the air and even more confetti for “The Man“, “Human” and, of course, “Mr. Brightside” – is there any other way to end than this? There was no doubt that this was going to be the crowd favourite and you can feel the stands shaking as every single person can’t resist moving to this encore. Brandon Flowers if pitch perfect the entire night and you can tell that The Killers love to put on a real show. Their high production value is impossible to miss and every person on stage has clear purpose and passion for what they do. The night falling around the arena makes for a beautiful background and this set list is full of arena anthems – The Killers know how to put on a real show and there’s not a person leaving who doesn’t want more.

‘Take a look around you – this ain’t no isolating event, this is a superspreader event. We’re spreading love and we’re spreading peace!’

Photographer is Rob Loud

Next Live Review: Tropical Fuck Storm / deadletter - Stereo, Glasgow 26.05.2022

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