“Can you believe it?,” he continued, scarcely grasping that after two previous cancellations due to the Covid pandemic, here he was in front of more than 25,000 people at the Eco Power Stadium kicking off the band’s long delayed Imploding The Mirage tour.
And what a concert as Doncaster’s first official major concert as a city.
Partying and parties have very much been in the headlines these past few months, but rather than the wine and cheese ‘work meetings’ of Downing Street, Doncaster and thousands from other parts of the country were here to truly let their hair down.
Shaking off the Covid shackles off the last two years, both band and audience were in sparkling form as Brandon and co delivered a set packed with glorious singalong anthems, confetti cannons, streamers and a dazzling light show.
Earlier, Stockport’s finest, Blossoms had kicked things off with a set of their very own crowd pleasers.
All hair and laid back summery love vibes, the indie favourites were the perfect accompanient as the sun poured down on the Eco Power, rattling through tracks such as Blown Rose, The Keeper and material from new album Ribbon Around The Bomb setting things up perfectly. If you haven’t seen them, make sure you do. For they’ll likely be back at some stage for their very own headline set.
As the skies began to bruise, anticipation began to heighten with Killers T-shirted fans – known as The Victims – packing the stands and pitch and helping to wipe away the misery long-suffering Doncaster Rovers fans have had to endure in the place this season.
With a mammoth black stage towering over the South Stand end of the stadium, it seemed a big ask if The Killers could deliver the goods in such a huge performance space.
But there was no need to worry. Fresh from fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, Doncaster was about to receive one huge dose of American glitz and glamour.
From the very off with rousing opener My Own Soul’s Warning, everyone inside knew this was going to be one magical evening.
A trio of early bangers – When You Were Young, Jenny Was a Friend of Mine and Smile Like You Mean It ensured a raucous crowd would have plenty to sing along to.
"Doncaster, we’ve had a tough couple of years isolating,” said Brandon. “But ain’t nobody isolating here tonight!”
That was a signal to spiral headlong into possibly the biggest cheer of the night, the rowdy and sonic assault of Mr Brightside which could surely have been heard from the Sheffield suburb of the same name, such was the vigour of the Doncaster crowd’s singalong to the much-loved indie anthem.
Confetti cannons, a spectacular stage backdrop which included a shower of golden sparks at one stage and lasers zooming high into the night sky just piled on the party atmosphere as the hits kept coming.
A cover of Joy Division’s Shadowplay, long a Killers’ live favourite saw more bouncing while a tender cover of the Ewan MacColl classic The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face saw the phone lights come out en masse.
A spirited rendition of Read My Mind was another highlight, before it was time to bring the curtain down on one of Doncaster’s biggest ever concerts with Spaceman, Human, and Midnight Show.
That meant it was down to All These Things That I've Done to wrap things up with its ‘I’ve got soul but I’m not a solider’ singalong ensuring every single voice in the stadium was put to the test and probably ensuring a few dry throats this morning.
The Killers were quite simply stunning and delivered in absolute spades – and then some more.
If this is the kind of concert we can expect as a city, Doncaster is in for a very bright future.