The thing that was most stunning about Flowers’ show was just how much the crowd was with him, even though he’s only officially released one track from his upcoming album, Flamingo. The second song of the evening, single “Crossfire,” had pretty much the entire crowd singing along rapturously (maybe because it’s really all most people know so far?)—and that was even without an appearance by Charlize Theron, who memorably pops up in the song’s video.
Brandon’s big moment, however, came a bit later in the under-an-hour set, when he covered “Bette Davis Eyes,” which Jackie DeShannon originated in 1974 before Kim Carnes made it a hit in 1981. (Watch a bootleg clip from an earlier show of Flowers’ version of “Bette Davis Eyes.”) The singular synth melody at the beginning opened it beautifully, and then Flowers owned it with his vocals, too. Maybe this cover will make the album? We can hope. Another highlight of the night was “Magdalena,” a folksy yet danceable track that has Flowers wailing throughout.
The above is from Tranner Stansky's "Brandon Flower's solo show in NYC: A killer night" (Entertainment Weekly). So the Killer's lead goes solo. Going solo is always iffy. Some people can do it. Stevie Nicks, for example. But, as she always points out, she made it clear this wasn't, "I'll be back in the band if I flop but otherwise, bye, bye." She made it clear that she was a band member (Fleetwood Mac) regardless. I don't think Phil Collins hurt Genesis by going solo but I do think that once he went solo he had little need to stay with the band.
With Stevie, she had a different sound solo but for Phil the solo and the group were the same sound. I don't know which way it will be for Brandon Flower. If, like Stevie, he's got a different sound solo (Stevie's is more raw -- Fleetwood Mac is glossier and sometimes a little too glossy for my tastes), then both can work. Otherwise, it's like Phil Collins.
Or Mick Jagger. There was never a reason for Mick to go solo. Those songs on the first solo album (She's The Boss) would have made solid Rolling Stones songs and should have. There was never a reason for Mick to be solo.
Is there a reason for Brandon Flower to be solo?
That's going to be the big question, right?
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"