The Killers performed an adrenalized version of the Smiths’ “This Charming Man” Sunday at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas – a winking allusion to Morrissey, who canceled his headlining set at the L.A. event due to an “illness in the touring party.” Singer Brandon Flowers nailed the vocalist’s distinct cadences throughout the song, even letting loose Moz’s giddy squeal midway through.
In September, Flowers told Yahoo that he grew up “idolizing” Morrissey. “I hung out with Morrissey at [Hollywood’s Sunset Marquis Hotel],” he said. “I came in one night at around 11 and everything was kind of shut down, but there was this one little light in the restaurant. And I grew up just idolizing him. I instantly got excited, obviously, and I ended up getting the courage to introduce myself and stay for a few hours out there with the Moz.
“It was an incredible experience. I was his bus boy when I was 18 at Spago in Vegas — served him a mushroom pizza and Earl Grey tea, and I totally made an ass of myself: ‘Mushrooms are really cool.’ So I don’t know that I redeemed myself completely with this experience with him, but I tried.”
During the Killers’ KROQ set, Flowers also alluded to another major headline at the event: Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme kicking a photographer in the face during his band’s show.
As Stereogum notes, Flowers pulled photographer Rob Loud from the photo pit and onto the stage, telling him, “I’m not gonna kick you in the face. Just come on up here. I just want to tell you to tell all your friends that you’re welcome here, and that at any Killers concert, you’re safe and you’re respected.” He also dedicated a song to the photographers in attendance, adding, “They make us look good. We need to take care of these people.”
The Killers’ fifth LP, Wonderful Wonderful, was released in September.