Brandon Flowers shines in solo show

A review of Brandon Flowers at the House of Blues on November 26, 2010

, Managing Editor

Some artists take a solo break from their bands to do something that differs from their established musical identity (See: Gwen Stefani). In Brandon Flowers’s case, his solo jaunt came about due to the hiatus of his group The Killers. Differing from artists like Stefani, Flowers delivered a product with a lot of similarities to his full-time job.

Although Flowers’ debut album, Flamingo, doesn’t produce the same anthemic-type numbers that The Killers are known for with hits like “Mr. Brightside” or “When You Were Young”, it still features the winning combination of ornate vocals and keyboard-driven pop/rock. Lead single “Crossfire” and “Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts” in particular sound quite Killers-esque with their hooky choruses.

The difference in the live performance for Flowers is that he’s now given himself more free range onstage. Gone are the keyboard/synth duties he assumes with The Killers and the focus lies solely with his finest instrument, the vocals. He took advantage of his unrestrained status during “Swallow It” as he hopped up on a monitor to fuel the excitement.

Flowers’ voice has always been the strongest aspect of The Killers, which is why it’s no wonder he’s had success so far in his short run as a solo artist. He easily handled the booming “Crossfire” chorus as well as its charming falsetto bits. He also wowed with his vocal strength during the acoustic ballad and Flamingo opening track, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas”.

Most Killers fans probably wouldn’t be disappointed with the Flamingo material alone, yet Flowers threw in a few numbers from his other outfit as well for good measure (and probably to beef up the show’s length). He fit “Losing Touch” in towards the end of the main set before returning for an encore where he segued the sing-along inducing “Human” into his own “Only the Young”. Flowers closed the show in amped-up fashion as fans bounced with glee to a remixed “Mr. Brightside”, with synth replacing the loopy guitar part.

While Flowers didn’t go the route of a musical migration on his solo debut, it also appears that he doesn’t fall under the category of “I can do this on my own” (See: Axl Rose… or better yet, don’t) as the singer has stated that he’s excited to get back to work with his band. Although Flowers wasn’t out to prove anything, he showed that he most certainly can do this on his own.

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