I have been waiting since last summer to see Brandon Flowers perform songs from his debut solo record, Flamingo, one of my favorite albums of the year. Looking dashing in a sharp-fitting black vest against a blue shirt, he’s every bit a frontman, yet one with understated star-power. His ability to hold back, restrain his exuberance and give the sold-out crowd at Hammerstein Ballroom just enough to keep them on the tip of their toes is unmatched.
An interesting choice, but also very much his style, Brandon opened with “On the Floor,” an aching ballad that slowly crescendos. Then lit a fire with pyro-themed songs, lead single “Crossfire,” “Was It Something I Said?” and “Playing with Fire.”
Other highlights of the night included his cover of Kim Carnes’ 1981 hit, “Bette Davis Eyes,” the Mexican-inspired “Magdelena,” and the incredibly awesome tongue-in-cheek “Swallow It.” Best moments of the night: the brilliant “Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts” had everyone at Hammerstein dancing, the torch song inspired by his hometown, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas,” underscored the power of his unique vocals, and The Killers fix of the night, “Losing Touch.”
For his encore, Brandon played a partial acoustic version of The Killers hit “Read My Mind,” which got the Absolut-induced drunk frat boys and their girlfriends all up in a frenzy. That lead right into my favorite song on Flamingo, “Only the Young.” This song is beautiful and touching, and he just released the video that accompanies it. Check it out below. For his closer, he performed the Jacques Lu Cont remix of “Mr. Brightside.” Jealousy. If I could take a pill and become any pop artist, I would be Brandon Flowers. Sexy, prolific, genuine. A true class act.