MY EPIC ROAD TRIP (REVIEW OF THE KILLERS + MORE!)

  • AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Concert Reviews

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    Well I’m back from my road trip. I visited 9 different states in less than a week. I saw my favorite band, The Killers perform 4 times in the span of 5 days, in 4 different states! Here is a summary of the epic-ness that went down:

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    Day 1

    Location: Asheville, North Carolina

    Venue: The Orange Peel

    “Asheville is like the poor man’s Portland”

    I flew into Raleigh, NC Wednesday early afternoon. Picked up my rental car, which by the way I payed an extra 66 bucks to upgrade to a vehicle with an AUX input just so I can listen to Spotify; yes, this is the life I lead and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I ended up killing some time in Charlotte, NC as I waited for the arrival of my friend Cristina (another dedicated Killers fan). I ended up at one of the nicest Starbucks I have ever seen! (Video Below)

    After picking up my friend Cristina from the airport, we headed to Asheville! We arrived around 2am, the venue had about 8 people already lined up! Some had been there since 9pm, a full 24 hours before the show! You gotta love these dedicated Victims. (For those who are unaware, “Victims” are fan club members of The Killers)

    Our rental car was decked out with TK related stuff, courtesy of Cristina. Here is what that looked like.

    Being the perfectionist that they are, The Killers were sound checking during the day for several hours to make sure they sounded just right. It was really cool hearing them sound check, especially because they were playing news song from their upcoming album Battle Born. This added to the buzz outside of the Orange Peel. (Watch the video below)

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    The line at the Orange Peel started to extend down the block. Here is a video I recorded right before doors opened.

    I was able to reach barrier, right in front of the new Battle Born era lightening bolt!

    I do miss the awesome “K” stand, but this lightening bolt is like it’s older brother on steroids; resplendent lighting with the ability to change colors! The Killers came on stage and rocked that shit! What hiatus? They sounded like the seasoned vets that they are! Don’t believe me? Watch part 1 of the Asheville show below.

    After the show, I was approached by a writer and photographer from NME Magazine. They asked me a few questions and took my picture. The following day I come to find out that they published an article online with my full name and quote! You can read that article here. I’m also in NME’s July issue!

    Here is a screen shot of that page from July’s NME issue. Click to enlarge; Ben Azadi from Miami Beach, that’s me!

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    Intermission video; leaving The Orange Peel (North Carolina), headed toward The National (Virginia).

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    Day 2

    Location: Richmond, Virginia

    Venue: The National

    “This town was meant for passing through, but it ain’t nothing new”

    Ah Richmond, the arm pit of the United States.  I can’t judge the city entirely because I was only in the downtown area, but I wasn’t too fond about the city of Richmond. Luckily I was only there for less than 24 hours. Here is video of me just after arriving in Richmond.

    While queuing, I started to talk to the other Victims in line. I ended up selling two extra tickets to a mother and daughter in much need of those tickets. They asked if I wanted to use their hotel room to shower; since I didn’t have a room booked and I was sweating from the beaming sun, I decided to take them up on that offer. As we get to the the floor where the hotel room is, I’m walking down the hall and I run into Dave Keuning (lead guitarist of The Killers).

    Here is a photo of Dave and I. The picture came out weird because we were both looking away from the camera. haha oh well.

    After taking my shower and changing, I headed out the room toward the elevators. The elevator reaches my floor, the doors open up, and do you know who comes walking right out of it? Mr. Brandon Richard Flowers! The lead singer of The Killers! My all time favorite musician from my all time favorite band! I spoke to him for a bit, he was a really nice and down to Earth. He was coming from the gym. I told him “good job”, and that I can “appreciate it” because I’m a personal trainer. I also told him about my “Sweet Talk” tattoo.

    Here is the pic of BFLOW and myself.

    I headed back to the venue with a smile on my face that could not be erased! It was getting close to the opening of doors. Here is the video I recorded at that time.

    The venue, unlike the city, was really nice inside. I was able to reach the same exact spot as the previous night, right in front of that lightening bolt! The crowd at Asheville was a little bit better than the Richmond crowd, however The Killers sounded better at Richmond; it seemed as if they ironed out any kinks they might have had at The Orange Peel. It was another great night indeed!

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    Days 3 & 4

    Location: Dover, Delaware

    Venue: FireFly Festival

    “Take me to the place where the white boys dance”

    Upon arriving at FireFly festival I felt (and probably looked) like a walking zombie.

    The bands I saw on this day were GROUPLOVE, Young The Giant, Modest Mouse, and of course, The Killers.

    I was able to see most of GROUPLOVE’s set; it was my second time seeing them. You can’t help but have a smile on your face when listening to these guys. Their live shows have so much energy, they are definitely one of the better live bands around.

    It was also my second time seeing Young The Giant. But this time I only saw the first three songs of their set before making an emergency exit due to lack of sleep; I felt like I was going to collapse onto the floor. I found a spot on the lawn and took a 60 minute nap with my friend Cristina. Here is a photo of that haha:

    Modest Mouse was the last band to perform before The Killers; they were good, not great. The crowd started a mosh-pit during a couple of their songs; they have some hardcore fans.

    Modest Mouse went off stage around 7:45pm; which meant we had about two hours to kill before The Killers went on stage. It felt like 20 people showed up for each minute that passed. It was a little past 9pm, I look behind me and there were about 40,000 people waiting for The Killers!

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    It was a little past 9:30pm when The Killers (finally) hit the stage. My body was aching, eyes blood shot red; but none of that mattered as soon as they started playing. This show was different because it was a festival setting; after watching The Killers perform the previous two nights in intimate small venues, it was refreshing to see them at a huge venue like FireFly! The stage was gigantic with a “megatron” high definition display behind it, with an additional screen on each side of the stage! I knew I was in for something special, and I was right! What an experience!

    Take a look at The Killers finale from FireFly!

    After the show everybody had a smile on their face. We all witnessed something special from an extraordinary band.

    Here is what there aftermath of brilliance looks like:

     

    We headed back to the campsite to finally get some desperately needed sleep.

    Here is an intermission video for you to watch as I segment into the last day of FireFly Festival.

    It was now Sunday, the last day of FireFly festival.

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    The Black Keys were the headlining band on Sunday night; I’m a big fan of them so I was excited to see them for the first time. They sounded good! Although they could work on their stage presence a bit more; additionally, as the headlining band I would expect some spectacular confetti or fireworks (maybe I’m spoiled because of The Killers) but all they had was a giant disco ball that appeared for one s0ng (the process of the disco ball dropping almost took longer than the song).

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    Day 5

    Location: Manhattan, NY

    Venue: Webster Hall

    “I’ve got this energy beneath my feet like something underground’s gonna come up and carry me”

    Ah, New York City; I missed your stink! We arrived at Webster Hall a little after 12pm, I couldn’t believe I was going to see The Killers in New York City! Are you kidding me? I had only dreamed of this day.

    The man you see with me in the picture above is named John; he’s seen The Killers a total of 53 times! I shit you not. When I asked him how it felt to have seen The Killers so many times, he replied with “It’s not about how many times I’ve seen them, it’s about when the next one is”. You’ve gotta love these Victims!

    There was a bar attached to Webster Hall (lucky me), so “pre-gaming” began around 4pm. After feeling a nice buzz I headed to the restroom downstairs; upon leaving the restroom I hear loud music coming from the downstairs stage at the venue; it turns out Webster Hall had a second (smaller) stage downstairs. The music I heard was from one of my new favorite bands GROUPLOVE (mentioned earlier); they were sound checking for their show that same night! I ended up watching them perform 4 songs; it was like a private show just for me! I couldn’t believe what was happening. One of the members from the band, Sean Gadd, walked past me so I struck up a conversation. Told him that I’ve seen them in Ft. Lauderdale earlier this year, and two days ago at FireFly Festival. He asked if I was going to be at tonight’s show, I told him I was going to see The Killers. Sean said they were going to catch The Killers set when they were done performing; hell yeah!

    I headed back upstairs to continue drinking with the Victims. 10 minutes later I see Dave Kuening (lead guitarist of The Killers) walk right behind us with a confused look. We all say “Hey Dave”, and a Victim (Mike, cool dude) asked him if he wanted a drink. Dave said he was actually in the wrong room. lol #DaveWasLost

    I return to queuing outside.

    Want to see a hardcore fan? I met a very cool Victim (Siobhan) who has lyrics tattooed on her from each of The Killers albums. I took a picture of two of them.

             

    I only have one TK related tattoo; I need to catch up! ;-)

    The Killers hit the stage after 9pm; it was visibly clear that they were so pumped up to be playing in New York City. At one point during the show Brandon Flowers yelled to the crowd “Fucking New York City”! I couldn’t believe I was seeing my all time favorite band in one of my all time favorite cities. Life is too amazing sometimes.

    Here is video of The Killers coming on stage. Goosebumps!

    After the show I was riding an all time high. Thinking back on the amazing events, and awesome people I met during my road trip brings a huge smile to my face. I have great video, and tons of pictures so I will be reliving it over and over.

    I recorded 90% of the Asheville (Orange Peel) show, and 100% of the other 3 TK shows. You can view all of those videos by heading over to my YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/SlickChromeBen

    You can view all of my photos by heading over to my Facebook photo album: “All These Things That I’ve Done Photo Album”.

    If this was just the beginning of Battle Born; I can’t wait to see what else The Killers have in store for us! What an incredible band with positive music that influences me to to great things in life. Don’t call me crazy, I’m happy.

    As my good friend (and Victim) Jennifer Trainor so perfectly worded it, “The Killers not only have provided my life with an awesome soundtrack, but they’ve also brought some amazing people to me. Thank you”.

     


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