All these shows we’ve seen: Thinking back on some killer Killers nights

The T-Mobile opening show was a visual spectacular.
Photo: Erik Kabik / Courtesy

March 9, 2002, Tinoco’s Bistro

If you went, chances are you just wanted to dance to some Joy Division. But The Ritual party featured a band that evening: The Killers, playing their second-ever show as a full band. At the time, bassist Dell Star and drummer Matt Norcross supplied rhythm to singer Brandon Flowers and guitarist Dave Keuning’s first batch of songs, which included “Under the Gun” and “Mr. Brightside.” It might have felt a little rough, but as a disrupter to the local nu-metal party, it also sounded exuberant, defiant—and full of potential. –Mike Prevatt

August 5, 2003, Huntridge Theatre

I first caught The Killers after they’d solidified their permanent lineup but before “Mr. Brightside” began getting airplay in England. This show drew fewer than 200 bodies to Downtown’s cavernous Huntridge—Hot Fuss was still almost a year away, remember—but I was struck even then by the instant catchiness of the band’s tunes, which outshined a headlining set from The Libertines. Nine short months later, The Killers would make their first appearance at Coachella. –Spencer Patterson

September 19, 2004, House of Blues

A homecoming for conquering heroes. A crowd of nearly 1,600 responded with wild enthusiasm to The Killers’ first post-Hot Fuss Vegas performance, marking the start of a strong relationship between band and hometown that continues to this day. Another rising rock band, The Walkmen, opened the show, but Las Vegans packed HOB’s lower level to see Brandon, Dave, Mark and Ronnie—and to sing along to then-current hit “Somebody Told Me,” future single “All These Things I’ve Done” and album cuts like “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine.” A momentous night in Killers history. –SP

August 23, 2006, Celebrity Theater

Remember MySpace’s “secret” shows? Clued-in fans were hotly anticipating the debut of material from the band’s second album, Sam’s Town. And some 400 of them were treated not only to the most intimate Killers show since the band’s commercial breakthrough, but damn near all of the forthcoming release, including the first-ever PA blast of “When You Were Young.” –MP

September 19, 2009, Mandalay Bay Events Center

This stop late in the Day & Age tour marked the band’s first arena gig in Vegas—and biggest local triumph—to date. Attendees will remember the fan fight that forced Flowers to halt “Losing Touch,” the cover of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and another Vegas band making its Strip arena debut: opener Halloween Town. –MP

April 6, 2016, T-Mobile Arena

The Killers had opened the new Joint back in 2009, so it was fitting that they do the same for the Strip’s newest arena. For this sold-out christening, they instituted an all-local-hands-on-deck approach with openers Shamir and Wayne Newton (the latter joining the headliners for “Johnny B. Goode”); the Blue Man Group for “Human”; Dan Reynolds, whose guest spot on “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” marked the first Killers/Imagine Dragons collaboration ever; and what felt like damn near every performer in town for closer “Viva Las Vegas.” –MP

April 6, 2016, Bunkhouse Saloon

The Killers may have desperately wanted to open T-Mobile Arena, but they were the embodiment of onstage happiness when they rolled into the Bunkhouse Saloon later that night—actually quite a few minutes into April 7—for a not-so-secret show that rattled and rocked the tiny Downtown venue. Locals stuffed the Bunkhouse beyond capacity and kept showing up even though they knew they wouldn’t get inside, where powerhouse versions of “Runaways” and “When You Were Young” felt like they’d tear the building down. –Brock Radke

The Killers with Albert Hammond Jr., Amanda Brown. February 3, 8 p.m., $35-$95. MGM Grand Garden Arena, 702-891-7777.

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