Music Monday: Killers POP-UP at Life is Beautiful Festival
Words by | Deanna Beaudoin
If life is made up of moments, then those moments that take your breath away are of particular value. One could argue, that life is made up of ordinary and that one might be happier when satisfied in ordinary. This is a bottle of wine discussion; as I tend to believe that a great life looks like extraordinary moments, sought, and then pleasantly experienced as surprises. Rumi says, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” It’s all about intentionally moving forward, and being open to the flow as it unfolds. Paradoxical, sure, but also true.
Let’s speak on Magic for a moment, because I am gathering information, researching if you will, about a certain experience that tends to be true. We’ll call it: FESTIVAL SUNDAY MAGIC.
After a weekend of abundance, joy, new friendships, new music, getting lost in art, learning or a new experiences there can be a slight emotional hangover. It’s rather impossible though because, it’s a hangover that hasn’t happened yet but is only anticipated.. Does that even make sense? Why? Sunday morning there is an awareness of ending, going back, being subdued. I have talked to many, many, many people about this very thing. I was convinced at first that it was inevitable. UNTIL I a few years ago.. that fateful Sunday I met the unicorn. He was a man, not an actual mythical creature..
musing: I admit that now I question my perception, none the less, the impression is imposed upon me
In 24 hours he, the unicorn took it upon himself to challenge my thinking, and in doing so, welcomed me in to the secret society, a coven if you will of festival goers. This tribe has one and only one thing in common, their cores open to the sunday festival magic.
In return, I only had one simple task, pass it on.
This music monday is dedicated to my favourite band in the entire universe. The Killers.
I am not one for fangirl behaviour, and even with the Killers it’s not what propels me. You see for me this band and I have been life long travellers. With their honest and often vulnerable lyrics, they have been accompanying me. Silently of course, but isn’t that the point of music, to create connection?
We’ve delved into several of my darkest hours, while listening, I’ve experienced triumph, dealt with loss , overcome fear, & celebrated the big FUCK YOU life moments. This band has helped me articulate emotions, brought friends into new heights, said good bye to lovers and even now, propelled me to start a company.
The Sunday night line-up at Life is Beautiful was fairly stacked, with artists such as: Knife Party, Kygo, Walk the Moon, Halsey, Weezer and Kendrick Lamar.
LBH had the good fortune to witness the superior showmanship that Kendrick entrusts to us a few months ago at WAYHOME. What an intelligent and impassioned performer. I was waiting all weekend for Saint Motel, and they didn’t disappoint but I’d have to say in terms of Sunday my surprise high-five went to Kygo. I fell in love with the deep house vibe.
FULL MOON RISING
The blood moon eclipse had people whispering all day at Life is Beautiful. I was one of the heathen whisperers anticipating the celestial activity. I had already realized that the moon would eclipse during Brandon Flowers (of the Killers) set while he played songs from his currently released solo album, Desired Effect. This would be my third time seeing the set in an many months… the life of a music journalist. Roughly knew what to expect. (or so I thought) During the day on my travels throughout the festival I talked to a lot of people that were self admitted die hard Killers fans and would be supporting Brandon’s set. (despite not entirely loving his solo endeavours) I assured them in my Virgo way, the band will play a few Killers songs, so not to worry.
When the time finally came while gathered on the grassy area at the downtown main stage, we awaited the performance. A few songs in, while also waiting for the clouds to part.. the one and only day it’s cloudy in Vegas.. I noticed that the set was different, there had been NO Killers songs at all.. strange. About 30 minutes into the set Brandon began having ‘technical difficulties’, his keyboard stopped outputting sound. With a confident “these things happen’ he took the keyboard off the stage.
In the next minute three things happened symutaniously. The clouds parted and there it was in all it’s spectacular glory, an eclipsing blood moon, in awe I turned back to the stage just in time to catch Brandon setting down something large mid stage and in the same motion ripping off a cover to reveal this:
The iconic K.. then, the back drop changed:
and lastly to perfect the 3 – The crowed ABSOLUTELY EXPLODED.
It was 30 seconds maybe. Then. This happened.
I would certainly contest that the Pop-Up Killers performance was one of the most extraordinary of the weekend. The Las Vegas Natives played a greatest hits variety for their fans. As this festival is definitely in the running to be one of USA’s BIGGEST & BEST I am not totally surprised that we were treated to such a Magical Sunday. It’s been a while since I was enveloped into such pure energy, actually that’s not true, I’d say the other home town favourites, the lovely and gracious Imagine Dragons, Saturday’s headliners did it too. (We’ll save that story for a different post though.) During the pop-up set while in the middle of the crowd I couldn’t help by give into it, the magic of thousands of voiced singing in perfect tempo back at the stage, dancing, moving, being perfectly in the moment together under the eclipsing harvest moon. It was hard to beat. It’s my definition of Collective Effervescence. Looks like the Unicorn was right, it’s waiting for you, you just have to be willing to see.
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR
words by | deanna beaudoin
photos by | Jeff Kraviz/Film Magic