Brandon Flowers Shares Stories Behind ‘The Desired Effect’ at New York City Gig
With the release of The Desired Effect earlier this year, Brandon Flowers has been on the road promoting the new material to fans all over the country. And his stop in New York City on Tuesday night (Aug. 4) proved to be a dance party that was filled with fun anecdotes and covers from his other gig, the Killers.
The night kicked off courtesy of New York-native Donald Cumming. With his band, the former Virgins frontman performed tunes from his latest disc, Out Calls Only. Casually holding his guitar, the singer-songwriter had a slight Bob Dylan tinge to the way he sang his lyrics while adding sounds reminiscent of the Eels -- if the California alt-rock band were to move into the pop realm.
As the venue dimmed, magenta spotlights illuminated the stage and Flowers' band took their positions. Playing the opening chords of "Dreams Come True," fans squealed as the suave Flowers stepped onto the stage. Dressed in all black -- that included a leather jacket and vest, we got to see a refined and slicked out version of the frontman, a departure from the scruffier guy who fronts the Killers. Like his look, his music also showed a different side. While 2010's Flamingo was the bridge between the Killers and his solo work, the new LP takes us further into what this man can do.
He treated the crowd to stories to some of the Desired Effect tracks. Before performing "Digging Up the Heart," he shared a piece of how he goes about the songwriting process, creating an intimate relationship with the audience.
"Writing songs can be like that sometimes," he told the crowd. "You have this idea of what you're aiming for, and sometimes you hithead on and sometimes you completely miss it. And in this next song, I was sort of aiming for The Place Beyond the Pines. That's a good movie reference. I have a serious story, and I cocked back and threw the dart and hit Raising Arizona. But that's okay because I love Raising Arizona."
Flowers also treated his fans to a nice helping of the Killers' tunes. While his setlist included "Read My Mind" and "Human," he thew everyone a curve ball by ending his set with the Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Remix version of "Mr. Brightside," off the Killers' 2007 album, Sawdust.
But the covers didn't stop there. Brandon invited Cumming back onstage to join him on a cover of Buster Poindexter's "Heart of Gold," a track that he and his band debuted at their show in Boston the night before.
Their rendition of "Heart of Gold" was mellower than the rest of the set, and much of the crowd couldn't sing along. But it didn't matter because the song itself showed yet another facet of Flowers' talent and gave us another reason to love him.
Brandon Flowers -- Setlist, Aug. 4, 2015
"Dreams Come True"
"Can't Deny My Love"
"Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts"
"Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" (The Killers cover)
"Diggin' Up the Heart"
"Read My Mind" (The Killers cover)
"The Way It's Always Been"
"Human" (The Killers cover)
"Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Remix)" (The Killers cover)
"Heart of Gold" (Buster Poindexter cover with Donald Cumming)
"I Can Change"
"Still Want You"
"Only the Young"