The five best acts from iHeartRadio fest, night one

The Killers arrive at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Festival red carpet Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Photo: Tom Donoghue /

Coldplay Frontman Chris Martin and his British mates still rule the concert world. It was a hit parade that included “Paradise,” “Viva la Vida,” “Fix You” and “A Sky Full of Stars,” at the end of which confetti cannons full of—what else?—white tissue paper stars erupted in the arena.

Sam Smith The award-winning Brit is definitely talented, but his hits—“Stay With Me,” “Not the Only One”—are a bit adult contemporary and sleepy. Live, however, Smith is charming, and his falsetto soars. Bonus: He brought British house duo Disclosure onstage and sang along to its hit “Latch.”

The Killers The hometown heroes nailed it from the get-go—Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas” complete with showgirls from Jubilee. Even after three and a half hours, the crowd stood for “Human,” “Mr. Brightside,” “When You Were Young” and more. Frontman Brandon Flowers looked dapper with long hair, blue paisley jacket and pocket square.

Duran Duran The four British bandmates, in their 50s, are still wild boys, and their nostalgic set of “The Wild Boys,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Notorious” (dedicated to uber-producer Nile Rodgers, whose birthday was Friday), “Ordinary World” and “Rio,” plus new single “Pressure Off,” rocked. And frontman Simon Le Bon is still a heartthrob.

Kenny Chesney Country artists can have a tough time at iHeart, but Chesney, one of the best live performers in any genre, more than held his own with “Beer in Mexico” (to great strobe-light effect), “Gone, “Summertime,” “American Kids,” “Living in Fast Forward” and “Young.”

iHeartRadio Festival: Night 1 September 18, MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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