The Killers – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, Noblesville, IN, June 8th 2018
After a few weeks we have made it to my #1 show of 2018, and it comes from a band out of Las Vegas, The Killers. I had been wanting to see the Killers for a while and they finally came to Indy on this last tour. The Killers consist of front man Brandon Flowers, guitarist Dave Keuning, bassist, Mark Stoermer, and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. If you want to see an extremely entertaining alt-rock band, these guys are the group for you.
First up, let’s talk about Brandon Flowers. Dude is an insanely good lead singer in terms of involving the crowd. He works the stage the whole show, makes eye contact with lots of people in the audience, and most importantly you can tell he’s passionate about the songs he’s singing, and he knows you are passionate about those songs he’s singing too. He might be singing “Mr. Brightside” for the 10,000th time, but damn he makes it feel like it just came out a month ago.
The other band members do a great job of accenting Flowers in their roles too. Playing some different arrangements specifically made for live performance and with various solos throughout the show, The Killers make sure to let you know this is a four-person group, even if Flowers is front and center.
The Killers have a decent number of slower ballads, and I was interested to see how they would work these into their set. You put too many together in a row and the show loses all it’s momentum, but they did a great job of structuring them throughout their roughly 2-hour set.
Speaking of momentum, about 30 minutes into their set, this show suffered a momentum killer in the form of an Indiana summer pop up severe thunderstorm. Everyone was asked to evacuate, and the show was delayed for about 45 minutes. Always approaching things from a critical eye, I was interested to see how the Killers would start the show back up when it was time. In the middle of their song “For Reasons Unknown” when the delay hit, they came back up (Flowers took the opportunity for a quick outfit change) said “where were we?” and starting in THE EXACT SPOT they left off. No lengthy talk about thanks for sticking it out during the rain, no restarting the song or moving to the next, they basically just acknowledged the rain delay didn’t even happen. Other bands take note, this is a perfect way to handle this.
Running through all their hits, some new material and a Tom Petty and John Mellencamp cover, the Killers crushed it. I loved every minute of this show. Not once was a bored at a song or by Flowers talking too much. I love their music anyway, but live, they push the songs to a new level. See The Killers if you can, you will not be disappointed.
If you read all 10 of the Top 10 Shows of 2018, thank you! I love concerts and being able to share with you which ones were my favs of the year was a great experience. I can’t wait to check out more live acts in 2019!
Taylor Swift – Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN – Sept. 15th 2018
#2 on this list is Taylor Swift, who had a massive 2018 and put on the highest grossing concert tour of 2018 with her Reputation Stadium Tour. The show is on Netflix if you didn’t get a chance to check it out when she came to Lucas Oil Stadium earlier this year. I reviewed the show earlier this year and I’ll post that link below, but looking back on all the shows of 2018, Taylor was right up there at the top.
Macklemore – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, Noblesville, IN, July 19th 2018
Show #3 on this list was the wildest and craziest show of 2018. Macklemore and Kesha rolled through Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center back in July, and while Kesha was great, it was really Macklemore who stood out to me at this co-headlining show.
There were a few things that made this show better than some other concerts I saw this summer and those were:
1: Live band. Instead of using backing tracks or just a drummer and keyboardist, Macklemore had a full band complete with a horn section and background singers which added to the show.
2: Fun set design: Adorning the set were fake palm trees, a picnic table, fake foliage, some lawn ornaments, and even an inflatable couch at one point giving off the vibe of “hey this is summer, let’s party.”
3: Great setlist construction: Macklemore didn’t open with a hit, instead choosing to go with “Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight” but the song is so fun, it was a great opener. Following that up with “Thrift Shop” and “White Walls”, the set’s first 15 minutes were electric. Slowing it down for “Same Love” and “Otherside” Macklemore then picked up the pace again with some fun album tracks (more on that later) before wrapping it up with “Can’t Hold Us”, “Glorious” and “Downtown”.
4: Fantastic visuals/camerawork: This is more of a technical thing, but the visuals and camera shots used during this set fit the mood very well. Lots of fast camera cuts to shots of fans, band members, etc. kept the energy up and was a great way for fans who were further back to see everything going on.
There were three songs that stood out the most to me during Macklemore’s set and they were the following:
Thrift Shop: The big hit. Macklemore could’ve just played this song straight but look at the video below to see him perform it at another show in Detroit. With the addition of: the band, backup dancers, this fun costume, and great visuals, it takes it from a hit to an absolute showstopper.
Willy Wonka: This song isn’t a big hit but with the addition of having two people on stage on an inflatable couch, Macklemore dressed as Wonka, fire, and fun graphics, it’s a super fun song to include in the set.
Dance-Off: Again, not another hit, but by accenting it with an actual dance-off, some fun chorography, and Macklemore playing the role of dance-off MC, it’s a great party song.
Macklemore is an insanely fun live performer and should not be missed when he rolls through town. His ability to work the crowd, provide fun live moments, and make the show sound “bigger” with a live band made this a fantastic concert.
Come back tomorrow for #2 in the Top 10 Concerts of 2018!