The Killers: From Vegas with Love
Geography—as in where someone is born and raised—plays a huge role in their personal development. Being from New Orleans is a distinctly different experience than growing up in New York. It’s part of the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture equation that truly informs who we become.
That principle naturally holds true for musicians as much, if not more, than anyone else. The Beach Boys could not have hailed from anywhere but Southern California. Nirvana would not have been riddled with as much angst had they not been based in Seattle. So it can be very informative to look at an artist’s roots in correlation and causation to their art.
One of the most fascinating cities in the U.S. is Las Vegas. Set in the middle of the Nevada desert and fraught with hedonism, Vegas seems at once culturally rich and culturally poor. Still, a number of musicians have emerged from Sin City over the decades to find success. Las Vegas is not even close to being on par with Boston, Atlanta, Portland, Nashville, or Detroit, but let’s not dismiss it out of hand… despite the fact that Panic! at the Disco’s drummer Spencer Smith has called the local scene “so bad.”
Since their 2004 debut with Hot Fuss, the Killers have sold round about 20 million records. That’s a lot—even my non-Vegas standards. Subsequent studio releases include 2006′s Sam’s Town, 2008′s Day & Age, and 2012′s Battle Born. (They took a little hiatus between albums three and four.) Not only have the Killers made a very solid name for themselves as musicians, but they are also fairly active in the realm of politics and humanitarianism, having played at several different events and rallies in Nevada and elsewhere, and contributed to a number of charitable projects.
With a smattering of shows across the final few months of 2012, one of them finds the Killers in Las Vegas to close out the year on December 28 and 29.
Before that, though, the Killers hit Toronto and Los Angeles in late September. In November, New York, Broomfield, and Orem host the Killers. December is much busier with stops in Vancouver, Camden, New York (again), Toronto, Boston, Fairfax, Ypsilanti, and Chicago prior to ending in Vegas.
Panic! at the Disco
The guys in Panic! at the Disco followed the Killers out of the shoot in 2005 with A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. The effort yielded a Top 10 hit and sold more than two million copies. Pretty. Odd. followed in 2008 along with Vices & Virtues in 2011. Neither subsequent set was able to replicate their debut’s success. But Panic!, nevertheless, forges on undeterred with a new release slated for late 2012.
Tracking all the way back to 1988, Slaughter caught on a couple of years after formation with their double-platinum debut, Stick It To Ya. Four more albums followed—The Wild Life (1992), Fear No Evil (1995), Revolution (1997), and Back to Reality (1999). Though they have issued any other records, Slaughter continues to tour, most notably on the Rock Never Stops Tour.
Though he was born in Arkansas, the would-be Ne-Yo grew up in Las Vegas and started singing while still in school. While trying to find his footing as a singer, Ne-Yo penned songs for other artists, including Mary J. Blige, Musiq, and Faith Evans. When his “Let Me Love You” was made famous by Mario, Ne-Yo’s time had come. His debut, In My Own Words, dropped in 2006, followed the next year by Because of You. Keeping a brisk pace, Year of the Gentleman came in 2008, Libra Scale in 2010, and R.E.D. in 2012.