Glamour and flash are a killer instinct

Friday, September 23, 2005

northjersey

WHO: The Killers, with British Sea Power.

WHAT: Pop and rock.

WHEN: 8 p.m. next Friday.

WHERE: Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, N.Y. (516) 221-1000.

HOW MUCH: $35, Ticketmaster.

When you think of Las Vegas entertainment, you'd probably sooner envision Wayne Newton or Siegfried and Roy than the Killers.

However, the synth-pop upstarts from Sin City may change that. The group, touring behind debut disc "Hot Fuss" - which has gone double platinum - will perform at Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater next Friday.

Vocalist-keyboardist Brandon Flowers acknowledges that the band hardly sounds Vegas. But the show biz environment did have other effects on the group.

"When you grow up in that world, entertainment gets in your blood," Flowers said. "The flashiness and the glamour catch your attention."

So it's not a stretch for Flowers and his band mates to wear makeup and pressed suits. "It's part of the show," Flowers said. "Vegas is about the show."

The band's sound is influenced by a number of British iconoclasts, such as David Bowie, The Cure and Depeche Mode.

"I grew up loving a lot of English bands," Flowers said. "That has a huge effect on you. If I was listening to hip-hop as opposed to Morrissey when I was 13, I would probably be a very different musician. But that's what I was drawn to when I was growing up."

Flowers and his band mates - guitarist David Keuning, bassist Mark Stoermer and drummer Ronnie Vannucci - also were fans of keyboard-driven American bands like the Cars and the Doors.

"That's my instrument," Flowers said. "It's been underutilized over recent years."

Such infectious tracks as "Somebody Told Me" and "Mr. Brightside" have propelled "Hot Fuss" and the Killers to star status, but another part of their success lies in their sound's wide appeal to pop lovers in their teens and adults in their 40s.

"People who were in their 20s back in the '80s have told us that we remind them of their favorite bands from when they were younger," Flowers said. "I understand them. When I was a kid I loved those bands, too. We have that in common with the people who come out and see us."

The group, which formed in 2002, is plotting its follow-up to "Hot Fuss."

"We can't wait to make the second album," Flowers said. "We learned a lot on the road. When we made 'Hot Fuss' we recorded the songs just the way we played them when we were playing bars in Vegas. This time out we're going to take our time with the guitar and keyboard sounds."