Is there anything better than wrapping up the summer at a concert, sweating and laughing and singing along at the top of your lungs to one of your absolute favorite bands?
No. No, there isn’t.
The Killers performed at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., last night, and my sister and I were there — in the second-to-last row of the venue, sure, but most definitely there! They were spectacular . . . even better than I had dared to hope.
I’ve been an enormous fan since I first heard “Mr. Brightside” back in 2004 and somehow really connected with the lyrics. Their album “Hot Fuss” became my summer anthem, pouring through my car windows as it lived in my CD player for almost a year. Thankfully, I got my sister Kate in on the act — and it became a band we both love. Follow-up albums “Sam’s Town,” “Sawdust” and “Day & Age” all have a special place in my life — and my heart! — too.
So I love going to shows, but somehow I’d never managed to see The Killers live! This is especially disappointing considering I have a massive, heart-stopping crush on lead singer, pianist and lyricist Brandon Flowers. (Yeah, he’s married with two sons, but a girl can dream!) He was in fine form last night, wearing an all-black ensemble and singing/dancing his heart out, but unfortunately I was way too far away to get any decent shots. I’ll just have to burn those mental images into my brain forever!
They sang all their big hits — “All These Things That I’ve Done,” “Somebody Told Me,” “Bones,” “When You Were Young” (for the encore) and, of course, “Mr. Brightside.” I don’t really remember what my life was like before that song . . . and when the first riffs started, I’m pretty sure I went temporarily insane. Like, insane. You don’t want to be seen with me or be associated with me in any way sort of insane. Luckily Kate is used to my antics and thought nothing of me screaming my head off, dancing around in an aisle and throwing my arms up like I was hurtling down a rollercoaster! Hearing that song live was just it. Amazing. I closed my eyes and couldn’t stop jumping . . . I had to move, and keep moving. I can’t listen to that song and stand still.
Another definite highlight? The refrain of “All These Things That I’ve Done” that’s become synonymous with the band, even getting printed on T-shirts: “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.” As I had hoped, Brandon let us sing it for a while . . . and the entire audience seemed to join in. It’s rare you see a group of, oh, 50,000 people completely in a moment as much as you did just then. Watching everyone’s faces staring up at the screen, looking at the hands reaching toward the sky, hearing the voices of a massive crowd all risen and pitched together to sing the very same notes — it’s like religion.
That’s why I can never get enough of live music — it feels holy, sacred. The feeling of unity you get at concerts is unparalleled . . . exhilerating, exciting, consuming, fantastic. And when the music you’re listening to right then, with that very band before you, has been your personal soundtrack through countless life changes, it makes you feel . . . invincible.
I know I’m really jumping off the deep end now, getting all pseudo-philosophical on you. Suffice it to say it was an incredible experience — an unforgettable one — which has to rank up there with the ever-growing Greatest Moments of Meg’s Life Ever.
Below is a video clip of one of my favorite songs, “A Dustland Fairytale,” captured by an awesome fan at my show! Have I mentioned lately how much I love the Internet? I can relive my exact fantastic evening through a series of YouTube videos and photos posted by others. Life is magical!