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Concert Reviews:
Flowers, Healy are dual killers at Royal Oak show
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

ROYAL OAK -- The Killers' Brandon Flowers and Travis' Fran Healy are following different paths in their respective solo vacations from their bands -- Flowers with a full-scale rock presentation, Healy in a stripped-down, solo acoustic fashion.

But the twain met on Wednesday night (Nov. 24) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, resulting in a Thanksgiving eve celebration that had a more festive flavor than just another show on the tour.

It was Healy's last night out with Flowers and his band, in fact, which led to some special moments and heartfelt comments. Healy, acknowledging himself as a "Brit pop elder statesman," thanked Flowers for his hospitality and making him "feel like royalty." He also assured the women in the audience that the Killers handsome singer was, truly, "so hot."

And during his set, Flowers spoke about playing a Travis song at his first open mic performance with Killers guitarist Dave Keuning and about the pleasure of traveling with one of his influences. He then brought Healy, dressed in a garish red midriff-baring outfit and loopy ski cap, on stage for a spirited encore rendition of Travis' "Side."

The two men offered up plenty of solid fare on their own as well. Following an engaging set by San Diego's Transit, Healy delivered a chatty 35 minutes that mixed Travis favorites such as "Sing," "Driftwood" and "Turn" with songs from his own "Wreckorder," telling stories about how the album came to feature both Paul McCartney (on "As It Comes") and Neko Case ("Sing Me to Sleep").

Flowers and his six-piece group, meanwhile, were tight and confident in delivering the entirety of his solo album, "Flamingo," starting with the country-flavored "On the Floor" and romping through New Wave-influenced tracks such as "Crossfire," "Magdalena," "Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts" and "Swallow It." He certainly didn't forget the Killers, playing the group's "Losing Touch" and closing the show with a slowed acoustic rendering of "When You Were Young," and his cover of Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" was a sly if straight-faced goof that added a touch of humor to the earnestness of the rest of the show.



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