Sons of Sin -The killers return to Las Vegas

from Qvegas

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 student.

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.”