The Killers at Malahide Castle reignite magic of live music outdoors

The Killers at Malahide Castle. Photo: Rob Loud

Laura Lynott

There’s something very special about watching a rock band in the middle of a field at summertime - and The Killers gig at Malahide Castle and Gardens reignited a magic in everyone in the audience.

The Las Vegas band finished up their two night schedule in Malahide on Wednesday night and lead singer Brandon Flowers continued the band’s tradition of inviting a young person on stage to play drums.

On Tuesday night, it was 20-year-old Sam Connolly’s turn. The BIMM music student from Monkstown, south Dublin, held up a sign asking to play drums on 2006 song For Reasons Unknown. And happily Sam, a drummer for Dublin band MT Heads, got his wish.

While tonight another young man, Louis, from Lucan, also had his dream made a reality, when Flowers plucked him from the audience to drum for the same song. Flowers announced Louis was the “best” audience drummer the band had ever had.

But while two young Dubliners enjoyed a moment of elation, being christened live on stage as stars in their own right - the after effects of The Killers’ shows are much more palpable.

This was one of the biggest outdoor shows so far this year and in Ireland since the pandemic wreaked havoc on our lives.

And with his very own upbeat, almost Las Vegas showman style, Flowers and his band provided an almost spiritual gift to the fun-craving crowd.

With old favourites, such as Mr Brightside and When You Were Young hammered out with full rock ‘n’ roll thrust, the audience responded with each familiar word, singing into the June night sky.

This was, without doubt, one of the most positive audiences at any gig. Small children in The Killers T-shirts, sat on their parents’ shoulders, while women in their 30s, 40s and 50s, danced into dusk.

Teenagers, who’d no doubt grown up with the lyrics played at home, bravely heaved toward the stage, each hoping for their moment in the spotlight.

While emotional men in their 50s and 60s threw their arms up and roared lyrics. This was primal for some and it was clear, this was their first real release in so long.

If you were there, you know just what I’m saying - this was special, this was magic. And yes Dublin, we were blessed with real, evocative and happy rock. Something we maybe didn’t realise we needed so badly.

The beautiful folk track, Runaway Horses, from the band’s latest album, 2021’s Pressure Machine, offered a peaceful, reflective mood for the crowd as the sun went down and the 80s funky Fire In Bone from 2020’s Imploding The Mirage, told a story most in the crowd could recognise.

Flowers sang: “I felt cast out. I felt eighty-sixed. I felt darkness. But I felt fire in bone

“I felt no good. I felt lowdown. And I felt alone

“I felt unknown.”

Like Flowers, every one of us felt the pandemic deep down inside and just as our stars are reborn on stage in front of live audiences once again, so are we.

If you weren’t there you certainly have heard of this gig and it’s sure to be remembered for years to come.

Take a bow The Killers and we hope to see you soon.

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