How is it possible for a band as huge and experienced as The Killers to play an arena concert with such an abysmal sound mix? I’ve witnessed hundreds of enormo-gigs in my time, including many at this particular venue, and very few have ever sounded this bad.
Hydro, Glasgow **
These chart-topping Vegas rock pros project hollow bombast at the best of times, but at least the likes of Somebody Told Me, Smile Like You Mean It, Jenny Was a Friend of Mine and Mr Brightside possess an undeniably hooky pop nous. Here they were reduced to lumpen soup.
Brandon Flowers’ android croon drifted in and out of focus. He sounded like someone doing Killers karaoke in a faraway recalcitrant dodgem car. The guitars, keyboards and female backing singers were barely audible. To make matters worse, this ugly soundscape was dominated by a monstrously overbearing bass. Seeing as most of The Killers’ bass-lines are dull, repetitive root-note throbs, the effect was mind-numbing.
The sonic sludge forced me to focus on Flowers. With his salmon-pink leather sports jacket, Colgate smile and plastic quiff he looked like an oversized Ken doll, although at least his glossy Tom Cruise blandness was offset by moth-eaten bassist Jake Blanton and gurning drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr looking like The Hairy Bikers going through a frightening midlife crisis.
The sold-out crowd appeared to be enjoying themselves – I sincerely hope they were – but I suspect deep down they knew their ears, coffers and favourite killer tunes were being murdered.