My family took a vacation to Las Vegas to watch Boise State football’s bowl game the weekend before Christmas. I was eager to go, knowing it was the Killer’s hometown so of course there would be cool Killers-related stuff to see (and I guess the football game would be fun too).
Before going, I did some internet research on what to see- I figured someone had to post a Killer’s fan guide to Vegas. I was not disappointed. I want to hugely thank Dani at The Sponge– I don’t know you but I think we’d get along, not to be creepy or anything- who wrote the most fantastic thorough guide you could ever write to Las Vegas, aptly titled A Victim’s Pilgrimage: The Killers Fan’s Guide to Fabulous Las Vegas.
She describes it as “the Killers fan’s Mecca” and let me tell you, its right on the money. Just getting there I could see how the Killers have been influenced by their city and their state of Nevada. Their music screams of the desert and neon lights.
Now, if I would’ve been on this vacation alone, and had a few more days, I would’ve been to a lot more places on her list. But at the same time, I didn’t want to feel like a creepy stalker. So mostly I did the traditional things.
And if you didn’t see from the title, I drove by Sam’s Town but unfortunately didn’t get a picture because I was driving and if I would’ve have been with my family we would’ve stopped. However, as I saw it I remember Brandon talking about that Casino, how he named the album for it because when he was younger they would drive to Vegas from Henderson and Sam’s Town was the first sign on the highway that they were in Vegas- it was a huge landmark for him. Since we were driving on Boulder highway, I totally got that experience. (nerd moment)
Above: First sight of Vegas through my car window. I was listening to “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” by Brandon Flowers, of course.
The Killers statues from the Bones video in the Hard Rock hotel:
Yeah, that’s me. I was trying to put on my fake camera smile that looks way better in pictures, but the real one just wouldn’t wipe itself off my face.
And I’m wearing the shirt I got at the Killers show in Portland. I’m pretty sure I didn’t take it off the whole time I was in Vegas.
Looking back, I realize that I completely forgot about the Sam’s Town tour sign that also hangs in the Hard Rock. Sad… well, I will see it next time.
See here in this picture above- bottom left corner- yeah…
And in this one below- the Killers are friends with Elton John, right? I saw in an interview Brandon said he gave Elton John gave him a piano. This is where Elton’s show is, I believe. Not to mention, he has some awesome music as well.
House of Blues, that’s famous isn’t it? Have the Killers played there at some point in their life? I don’t know, but I took a picture. It was actually really neat because the whole exterior decor was created with bottle caps.
And below is the Flamingo hotel and street (Brandon’s solo album is named after it). Every time we drove on this street I got excited. You’d think that I thought Brandon himself was there. (I was hoping, a little bit…)
Okay, so now for a short- I mean long- story where I lament my bad luck.
So I visited Vegas on December 23rd. The Killers were playing their first Vegas show in 4 years December 28th and 29th! I missed them by a whole 5 days! I was so upset when I found this out- I would’ve definitely gone and seen them again. (If I had been planning this vacation I would’ve changed the dates!).
They were playing at the Cosmopolitan, which was right up the street from our hotel. The first night we were walking the strip and my dad says “hey, look it’s your band”, pointing to a huge sign outside of the Cosmopolitan where it announces the upcoming Killers concert. After jumping up and down, I go to take a picture… and the screen changes. I proceed to stand there for about ten minutes waiting for the Killers picture to come back so I can take a picture, greatly annoying my whole family. It never comes back. As we walk away, I walk backwards so I can watch the sign. It never comes back. The next day I walk by the same sign and watch for the Killers. Never comes back. Or the day after that. I am fully convinced that that screen showed the Killers once ever and I just happened to catch it at a magical moment the first time I walked by. It infuriated me the whole trip! It’s possible that I was truly infuriated that I couldn’t go to the concert and I was using the sign as a scapegoat.
Okay, story over. Last but not least, what was possibly my favorite Killers-related thing I did this trip. It was the single not-strictly-touristy and felt more like an “experience” of something the Killers do every Saturday night than just looking at their statues in the Hard Rock that I doubt they ever visit. We visited Luv-It Frozen Custard. If you didn’t know, the Killers have talked about it multiple times as being amazingly delicious. And it was!
I got the lemon flavor.
Songs in special places:
– I heard “Read My Mind” playing inside the Monte Carlo- magical moment right there
-“Spaceman” was played during a commercial break at the football game- right there is why BSU won the game
So, I did some things I wanted to do Killers-related but not everything. According to Dani at The Sponge, there is SO much more. It’s on my bucket list to see a Killers concert in their hometown, so hopefully I will go back. It’s only about a 9 hour drive from my hometown, which is also probably why I feel a connection to them. (I too am from the desert.) Here are a few of the things I hope to do next time I go:
– Go inside Sam’s Town, while listening to “Sam’s Town”, of course
-find “Main Street” a la “Read My Mind”
-find a promenade and listen to “Jenny” but try not to get any creepy murderous feelings, of course
-blast more Killers music, which I couldn’t do because the other people in the car didn’t like it (I really need to go there with someone other than my parents…)
– find all the places the band members used to work before they became The Killers
-visit the Neon Boneyard… this one is HUGE on my list because I am fascinated by history and Vegas in general. If I would’ve had more time I would’ve definitely gone here.
– visit Henderson and try to find Brandon’s house. Okay, that’s creepy. But visit Henderson? Yeah, I’d do it.
-go to Gold Coast Hotel- Brandon used to work here
-go to Buffalo Exchange, where Brandon met Tana, yeah I feel a little creepy about that one too.
-walk along the Truckee River, apparently on Twitter they said its their favorite thing about Nevada
-visit the location where the Spaceman video was shot (apparently the address is here: 1501 Nevada Highway in Boulder City, NV 89005)
There are a ton of Killers recommended restaurants I’d love to visit- a few are Sushi Roku (at Caesars), Los Tacos, the Peppermill, to name a few.
I feel like most of these things I’d have to do on vacation by myself… unless I happened to meet someone else as crazy as me. And for some reason I like doing things by myself better. After all, I went to the Killers concert by myself :p