Ronnie Vannucci and Big Talk’s first outing is low-key fun

Ronnie Vannucci, right, and Taylor Milne of Big Talk at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip
Bill Hughes
Chris Bitonti

Ronnie Vannucci’s grandma Betty held down the front row Wednesday night at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. Sure, her grandson has been on stages for years, many of them in rooms much larger than this one. But this night marked a first for Vannucci—the first time the Killers drummer would move out from behind his familiar drum kit, grip a microphone, strum a guitar and sing his songs.

Big Talk @ Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip

As the lights dropped, there was a shared sense of excitement among the slew of longtime Las Vegans who showed up. Vannucci did not disappoint. His new band, Big Talk, wowed the packed crowd of familiar faces with its debut performance.

The five-piece group played its just-released self-titled album in its entirety. If you closed your eyes, you might have mistaken them for Damn the Torpedoes-era Heartbreakers, in all the right ways. Catchy guitar melodies sliced through a brightly distorted wall of sound while the slightly awkward frontman belted out witty lyrics about all things love and alcohol.

Ronnie Vannucci's Big Talk at Hard Rock Cafe on The Strip

Vannucci didn’t carry the typical bravado of a seasoned frontman, that practiced persona—two parts mysterious, one part potentially dangerous—so many lead singers cling to. His was a down-to-earth stage presence. He joked with his guitar tech, smiled, celebrated the moon landing’s anniversary and laughed when he screwed up his lyrics. That kind of authenticity works well for Big Talk.

The band might just turn out to be just a downtime, side project among friends and between Killers albums. But if Wednesday’s first outing is any indication, it’s a lot of fun to experience.


Commenting Policy

Previous Discussion:

  • The synthesizer/keyboard player, vocalist and songwriter talks about pushing forward, artistic freedom and the crazy genesis of OMD's biggest hit, "If You Leave."

  • After gunmen left 89 dead at one of their gigs in Paris last November, they’re now linked to one of history’s worst terrorist attacks. Helping ...

  • Covers of The Beatles and Celine Dion, a parade of hits and a giant, inflatable ball rolling over the crowd.

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story