Get set for a Killer



"I am a touring machine," said Brandon Flowers, the lead singer with the world's leading indie rock arena act The Killers. Music critics seem to agree. The band's live show was recently described by The Times as "a stylish and thunderous display that reinforced The Killers' credentials as serious contenders in the heavyweight division". Today, Abu Dhabi rock fans at Emirates Palace will see for themselves why the band headlined the Reading and Leeds Festivals last year and count David Bowie and Sir Paul McCartney among their fans.

The Killers - Brandon Flowers on vocals and synths, Dave Keuning on guitar, Mark Stoermer on bass and Ronnie Vannucci on drums - have been in almost continuous performance mode since the release of their three and a half-million-selling debut CD, Hot Fuss, in 2004. But while plenty of US bands can lay claim to be grizzled roadhogs, the Las Vegas foursome have a repertoire of songs that makes their glittery, impassioned shows unmissable.

When We Were Young, Somebody Told Me and Read My Mind leave the listener "unsure whether to lead the charge to the dance floor or to burst into tears", said The Guardian. The band's mix of arena-indie guitars and Eighties synth pop is "velvet-jacket synthesizer rock that has a crush on David Bowie and Duran Duran but adds bold, beautiful American dumbness", said the US music magazine Blender. At the heart of The Killers' story is the Morrissey-goes-to-Vegas appeal of the singer and chief songwriter Flowers, one of the most compelling frontmen in rock.

This handsome 28-year-old grew up in the suburban Nevada town of Henderson. As a child the desert was his backyard, because his parents were too poor to build a fence. Flowers became so attached to Las Vegas that he quit his first band, Blush Response, rather than leave his hometown and move to Los Angeles with the rest of the band. This sense of space informs The Killers' music: big choruses, bigger emotions.

Observers have noted that, as a frontman, Flowers' personality appears to be split between two warring factions. On the one side is the braggart - a hit writer confident in his talent and dismissive of his competitors. Like a Western Liam Gallagher (a singer he admires), he has attacked Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco, accusing them of trying to ride his band's coat tails. He once described The Killers' 2006 sophomore album, Sam's Town, as one of the greatest records ever made. He told me that it would "sell more than any other rock band in the next couple of years". It didn't. On the other side is a hunched, introspective rock seer who regularly attends church and frets about where his country is headed. Backstage at the Red Rocks venue, a natural amphitheatre in the hills above Denver, he told me he thought American culture was going in the wrong direction.

"People aren't getting raised the way I was raised," he said. "Paris Hilton and reality TV - people are losing their morals." Unlike some stars, he manages to live by his standards. You will rarely find Flowers in the pages of celebrity magazines or mentioned on gossip websites. When The Killers first hit the big time in 2005, Flowers quietly married Tana Mundkowsky, a pixieish former Urban Outfitters store manager who had met Flowers in a thrift shop five years earlier. Like Flowers, she is Mormon and the couple have a young son.

Inspired by his hero, Bruce Springsteen, Flowers says that he identifies with the struggle of ordinary people and, whatever his misgivings about his country, remains fiercely patriotic. "It makes me upset when people say they want to leave America," he said. "I don't. I am not ever gonna leave. I am going to live there and die there and I am not ashamed of that. People should still be proud of America. It's still a wonderful, beautiful place and the people are wonderful."

But Flowers admits he has sometimes found it hard to get these sentiments across in his songs. "I think the second Arcade Fire album [Neon Bible] said everything I wanted to say with greater ease," he said modestly. "They said everything." But, with a bolshy confidence never far from the surface, he was not frightened to say where his strengths lie. "I can write a pop song," he said. "I can write a hit."

See the proof of this tonight.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPAD PRO (12.9", 2022)

Display: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR, 2,732 x 2,048, 264ppi, wide colour, True Tone, ProMotion, 1,600 nits max, Apple Pencil hover

Chip: Apple M2, 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: Storage – 128GB/256GB/512GB / 1TB/2TB; RAM – 8GB/16GB

Platform: iPadOS 16

Main camera: Dual 12MP wide (f/1.8) + 10MP ultra-wide (f/2.4), 2x optical/5x digital, Smart HDR 4

Video: ProRes 4K @ 30fps, 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps

Front camera: TrueDepth 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4), 2x, Smart HDR 4, Centre Stage, Portrait, Animoji, Memoji; full HD @ 25/30/60fps

Audio: Four-speaker stereo

Biometrics: Face ID, Touch ID

I/O: USB-C, smart connector (for folio/keyboard)

Battery: Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; up to nine hours on cellular

Finish: Silver, space grey

In the box: iPad, USB-C-to-USB-C cable, 20-watt power adapter

Price: WiFi – Dh4,599 (128GB) / Dh4,999 (256GB) / Dh5,799 (512GB) / Dh7,399 (1TB) / Dh8,999 (2TB); cellular – Dh5,199 / Dh5,599 / Dh6,399 / Dh7,999 / Dh9,599

The specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 217hp at 5,750rpm

Torque: 300Nm at 1,900rpm

Transmission: eight-speed auto

Price: from Dh130,000

On sale: now

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Small Things Like These

Director: Tim Mielants
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Emily Watson, Eileen Walsh
Rating: 4/5

Scoreline

Australia 2-1 Thailand

Australia: Juric 69', Leckie 86'
Thailand: Pokklaw 82'

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Match info

Arsenal 0

Manchester City 2
Sterling (14'), Bernardo Silva (64')

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

Ain Issa camp:
  • Established in 2016
  • Houses 13,309 people, 2,092 families, 62 per cent children
  • Of the adult population, 49 per cent men, 51 per cent women (not including foreigners annexe)
  • Most from Deir Ezzor and Raqqa
  • 950 foreigners linked to ISIS and their families
  • NGO Blumont runs camp management for the UN
  • One of the nine official (UN recognised) camps in the region
COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Ejari
Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Founders: Yazeed Al Shamsi, Fahad Albedah, Mohammed Alkhelewy and Khalid Almunif
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $1 million
Investors: Sanabil 500 Mena, Hambro Perks' Oryx Fund and angel investors
Number of employees: 8

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates


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