The Killers Auckland 2022! Official Photos

Photos by Chris Phelps | @chrisphelps

The Killers have come out of their pandemic-induced cage and they’ve been doing just fine.

“Auckland, we’re alive,” he declared. “Can you believe it? Somebody’s gotta pinch me. Ronnie [Vannucci Jr], pinch me.”

He continued, “A pandemic may have kept us apart, but tonight a little thing called rock and roll is bringing us back together.”

The last time the Killers were here was in 2018, and now they’re finally touring their 2020 album Imploding the Mirage. Like countless other acts, they were meant to come last year, but were kept away by Covid - but last night’s show was well and truly worth the wait. One day, arena shows like this won’t feel so surreal, but we haven’t quite lost the wonder yet.

Things got underway with a shower of confetti as the band took us back in time with When You Were Young and Smile Like You Mean It - which Flowers did for most of the night.

And while he’s softly spoken and even reserved in interviews, he reminded us he’s every bit the showman on stage.

Favourites like Somebody Told MeHuman and Shot At The Night had everyone up and out of their seats, before the band launched into a few of the songs from Imploding The Mirage, including Running Towards A Place and boy.

One highlight of the show was undeniably when Flowers spotted audience member Taylor Johnston holding up a sign asking if he could play drums on For Reasons Unknown. “Get this guy up here!”

They encored with the bravado-filled 2017 hit The Man and then finally - of course - Mr Brightside.

But that wasn’t the end of the night for just over 1,000 fans who made it to the second show - a surprise midnight concert which was only announced last Friday - at Auckland Town Hall.

They reached for some older hits with the second set, from Cody to This River Is Wild and The Way It Was.

Run for Cover was a welcome addition that didn’t make it into the arena set, and of course, they couldn’t close without another rendition of Mr Brightside that had the crowd screaming along at 2am like we were all at a house party with our mates.

And the closing track, a repeat of When You Were Young, was a fitting choice to bookend a night of millennial nostalgia.

The Killers play a second show at Christchurch Arena on November 25

This article was first published on by Bethany Reitsma