Sons of Sin -The killers return to Las Vegas
Everybody will surely
agree that the city of Las Vegas is not particularly known for its thriving
indie music scene. But with the growth of our desert town also comes the
emergence of entertainment talent other than Celine, Elton or Cirque du Soleil.
The Killers is one of those Las Vegas breakout acts that has gained global
notoriety and has put the city on the map for more than just the Strip.
The Killers debut album Hot Fuss (featuring the hit Mr. Brightside) is arguably
one of the hottest rock and roll records of 2004. The CD garnered two Grammy
nominations and propelled the quartet to superstar status in Europe and Asia.
After a grueling world tour, Brandon Flowers (vocals/keyboards), David Keuning
(guitar), Mark Stoermer (bass) and Ronnie Vannucci (drums) finally return home
to play for family, friends and hometown fans at the Joint on April 15.
Together with Franz Ferdinand, the Bravery and Modest Mouse, the Killers
represent a new breed in modern rock and roll music. The band’s ‘80 inspired
dance rock, fashion sense and hooky melodies invoke memories of bands like Duran
Duran, New Order and Oasis. Singer Brandon Flowers even mentions gay duo Erasure
as a source of inspiration.It is their fresh approach to rock music that has
attracted a diverse fan base to the Killers’ music, including gays.
The Killers first got together in late 2002 when Flowers came to town to become
a professional golfer. However, music was his passion and through friends and
classified ads, he got in touch with the other three to start the Killers. The
band started rehearsing and writing music in a garage, and also used the
facilities available at UNLVs music department where drummer Vanucci was a
The quartet started playing the scene and built their first gay fan base by
playing a weekly residency at a ‘80s retro night at the now-closed gay drag club
called Tramps (formerly Sashas). The budding musicians continued to work odd
jobs to pay their bills. Flowers worked as a bellman at the Gold Coast, Vanucci
was a wedding photographer for The Chapel of the Little Flowers, Keuning worked
at Banana Republic and Stoermer was a medical courier.
The band eventually signed their first record deal in the U.K. Besides lanky
indie kids and teenage girls, the band immediately gained interest from gays.
The band’s stylish fashion sense, Brandon Flowers ambiguous, gay themed lyrics
and the singer"s boylove behavior on stage have also fuelled speculation about
the singer’s sexuality.
The songs Andy You’re A Star and Somebody Told Me have left a wide margin for
different interpretationsAndy, You’re A Star supposedly describes Flowers
adoration for an athlete in high school. But it is Somebody Told Me that has
left most people wondering. Flowers sings, Well somebody told me/You had a
boyfriend/Who looks like a girlfriend/That I had in February of last year/It’s
not confidential. I’ve got potential.
Flowers talked about his inspiration for the song with a reporter of AP. “I love
the play on words. I think of it as a great icebreaker,” he says. "I think of it
as the ultimate pickup line. If I was a girl, I would think that it’s very
clever if a boy came up to me and said that to me."
But the opinions about the song's meaning on fan boards range from Flowers
ex-girlfriend getting a sex change to the singer’s desire to have a three-way
with his ex-girlfriend and her new girlfriend.
One fan argues that there are parallels between Flowers and Morrissey who both
purposely have used a stage persona to create an air of mystery. “I think you
will find a lot of Morrissey, and Bowie actually, in Brandon’s evolving stage
persona... The slightly effeminate moves, the boylove, the campiness,” writes
Bonnie Russell. “Morrissey has used all of that for years in his persona (yes, I
believe it’s a persona as well), and Brandon is well aware of how it can work if
it’s done right.”
“When we met, I talked to him a bit about Morrissey, and Brandon said flat out
that he believed that Morrissey didn’t speak to him a whole lot because he knew
that Brandon would tell everyone about it, and that ‘[Morrissey] wants to keep
his mystery.’ Brandon is obviously smart about how to play roles on stage, and
how it can enhance a stage show.”
The Brandon Flowers-Morrissey connection should come as no surprise since
Flowers considers Morrissey one of his greatest idols. Pre-stardom, when he
worked at Spago in Las Vegas, Flowers waited on Morrissey and kept the tea cup
the singer was drinking from.
All the rumor and innuendo aside, Flowers told music weekly NME that he got
engaged and plans to get married in Las Vegas. But he is happy to note that he
appreciates all of the band’s gay fans. In an interview with British gay
magazine Boyz he insists that “[The Killers] are here for boys and girls. We
don’t turn anybody away.”