Murderers row: The Killers swing for the fences with 'Sam's Town'
Daily Herald

Just 11 days after the release of their highly anticipated new album, "Sam's Town," The Killer's are coming to Brandon's town.

Brandon Flowers, Killers frontman and Nephi native, has made it big but still enjoys his small-town roots.

"He just loves playing in Utah," bassist Mark Stoermer said in a phone interview. "There's always hundreds of his family there to see us."

The Killers will perform Saturday night at the Great Saltair in Magna.

Expect the radio-friendly mainstream sounds, (their first single "When You Were Young" is No. 2 on Billboard's Modern Rock charts) mixed with a bit of old school.

Flowers confessed he had been listening to Bruce Springsteen during the recording of the album. Guitarist Dave Keuning even said they are working on a Dire Straits cover, showing the band is already a long ways away from its New Order-influenced days.

That's not to say all of "Sam's Town" is dancing in the dark.

"I have to disagree a little bit with the Springsteen mania thing that we're getting compared to," Keuning said in a phone interview. "I think that there's only a few moments where it sounds like Springsteen but when you listen to a song like 'Bones,' it sounds nothing like Springsteen, and it's one of my favorites off the album."

Instead of playing safe after the triple-platinum success of the band's debut record, "Hot Fuss," The Killers, who were chosen as 2005's band of the year by Spin magazine, pushed the creative limits with their sophomore release. Flowers went so far as to tell MTV that "Sam's Town" will "be the best album in the past 20 years."

"It's a more mature album," Stoermer said. "We didn't have a long break in between albums, but the sounds are very different."

Yes, The Killers have matured -- 2005 brought Flowers a wife and Keuning a baby boy -- and so has their sound.

That sound has been labeled everything from "new wave," to "pop rock" and even "dance rock." Truth is, their genre is as varied as their taste.

Keuning's shared his current playlist of music he's been listening to. It includes Peter Murphy, Queen, Sigur Ros, Henry Goreki's symphony "Number Three," and Duran Duran's "Astronaut." ("I'm one of the few people who actually like it," he said.)

"Just because we have a synthesizer doesn't mean we're a synth band," Stoermer said. "But we're not pop either. I'd say we're a rock band that plays pop songs."

The Las Vegas foursome originally got together in 2002. Flowers, a college dropout working as a bellhop, answered Keuning's wanted ad searching for a bandmate with an Oasis influence.

Within weeks the two composed their soon-to-be cult hit, "Mr. Brightside," a song they continue to play at every concert.

"A lot of people say you have to be in L.A. or New York to make it as a band," Stoermer said. "But with the Internet, you can really make it anywhere."

Anywhere including "Sam's Town." (The album is named after one of Sin City's first casinos.)

The band recorded the album in Vegas's Studio at the Palms, with U2 producers Flood and Alan Moulder.

It's too early to talk about their third album, but the Killers are prepared to throw curveballs in their style.

"We like diversity in the style," Keuning said. "It could go any direction on the third (album)."

New Order ... the Boss ... could Wayne Newton be next?

If You Go

The Killers

When: Saturday at 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: The Great Saltair, 12408 W. Salt Air Dr, Magna

Support act: Envy Corps

Tickets: $29, available through Smith's Tix (800-888-TIXX, and