The last time The Killers performed in Abu Dhabi was nearly a decade ago, almost to the day. That 2009 Emirates Palace show, held on December 8, saw the group making a claim for stadium-worthy status with their third album, Day & Age, topping the charts on both sides of The Atlantic.
When the band hit the du Arena stage tonight, for the Abu Dhabi F1 race-day concert, they come as a collective that has conquered the charts, global festivals and some of the biggest music venues in the world.
With the band arriving last night in the capital and readying to hit the stage around 9pm, here is what to expect from their highly anticipated show.
It will be a lap of honour
If it is good enough for Glastonbury, then it is good enough for us. The Las Vegas rockers come to the capital on a greatest-hits tour that saw them perform their biggest show to date, with more than 100,000 people watching their headline performance at this year’s mammoth Glastonbury Festival in the UK. The tour also saw them perform a string of arena and festival dates across the US, making them a well-oiled machine by the time they step foot on the du Arena stage.
They know how to rock an F1 crowd
The band are no stranger to racing crowds, having also performed as part of last year's Singapore Grand Prix. Reporting from the show for The National, I was impressed by the production, which recalled the glitz and glamour of the band's native Las Vegas. The screens projected fun and cartoonish imagery, there were lots of neon lights and the band was backed up by powerful pair of soul singers.
We could hear new songs
With no album to promote and a receptive crowd, Abu Dhabi could be the perfect setting for The Killers to drop a new song or two. Back in October, the band announced the name of their upcoming album: Imploding the Mirage. The band went on to share a list of 13 potential song titles that could make it on to the record. In typical The Killers fashion, the titles are mostly melodramatic and promise huge choruses. Potential ditties include When Dreams Run Dry and Man + Woman.
Spoiler alert: what songs will be performed in Abu Dhabi?
The Killers are a band that would rather fine-tweak than radically change their set list each night. Judging by the songs played on this tour, it is recommended that you are in the arena early as the band often kick things off with plenty of classic tracks including Jenny was a Friend of Mine and Somebody Told Me.
Check out the supporting act Hollaphonic
The British dance pop duo, comprised of Olly Wood and Greg Stainer, have been performing both in the UAE and abroad for nearly eight years. In that time they have clocked up many milestones including rocking a 40,000 crowd at 2014 Dubai World Cup and supporting the 2017 race-day concert headliner, Pink, at du Arena. You can also hear the duo on Dance FM UAE each night, from 8pm to 10pm, as hosts of Holla Evenings.
The Killers performs tonight at du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Doors open from 5pm. To attend the after-race concert, you need to have a ticket for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Tickets are available online from Yas Marina Circuit.