Sunday, July 20, 2008

Memorable Concert Moments: The Killers/Tegan & Sara 2005

By the early part of this decade I'd lost interest in music. The whole nu metal stuff of the late '90s just never resonated with me, and I thought maybe I'd just finally gotten old and things had passed me by. I figured I was just a few short months away from wearing plaid pants pulled up past my navel and yelling at the neighbor kids to turn that noise down.

But then something strange and wonderful happened in 2004 -- new bands with very '80s-sounding styles started emerging. And riding the crest of the wave were The Killers.

Hot Fuss woke me up from my four years of musical slumber. Was that actually a SYNTHESIZER I could hear on those songs? The Geritol went back in the closet, and I was back in the game!

In May of 2005 The Killers came to the Paramount Theatre in downtown Denver with the Canadian sister team of Tegan & Sara. My buddy Nerf at KTCL helped me get a couple of tickets, and I invited my former neighbor Rick Fisher. I figured as a musician he'd enjoy hearing what was new and as a father of two musically talented girls he'd appreciate the opening act.

Tegan & Sara were all right. Rick not surprisingly bought their CD there, and then embarrassed me by telling them at their little merchandise booth after the show that he thought they were better than The Killers. Seriously, isn't that like telling the JV they were better than the varsity? I think I slapped him on the arm for it like we were an old married couple.

Our seats were clearly part of the Clear Channel promtional allotment. Right in front of us were former Bronco Harald Hasselbach and his wife Aundrea, and right behind us was KBPI DJ Uncle Nasty, I think with his teenage daughter. I hope I didn't destroy his hard rock cred by outting him having been there like that. Regardless, one of the more surreal moments of my life was doing a tequila shot with that group (minus the teenage daughter) in between acts.

The Killers' set was absolutely phenomenal, if a little short at just 10 songs. One of the things that really struck me was how into them the entire audience was. The place was full, and I very much got the impression that people were definitely there specifically to see The Killers -- not just to go to any old concert or because they couldn't find something better to do. There was a definite energy in the venue that I can't say I've ever felt at another show -- the band and the crowd just fed off each other.

I caught them again at Red Rocks about four months later and it was a complete letdown. They did the exact same set, and they just didn't seem to have figured out how to fill a venue like that yet with their presence. But for that one night in May, they gave 1,870 folks at the Paramount a show I don't think any of us will forget.

Except maybe Rick. He's probably not sure who that band was that made Tegan & Sara cut their set short.


Ace Hunter said...

It takes a group of Ersatz Gnomes ( to truly fill Red Rocks with a presence.

SteveHarbula said...

Ticking Gnomes > Ersatz Gnomes

For that matter, every other band I can think of from Boston > Boston.