I've been searching all over the Internet and I can't find a single guide for what a Killers fan should do in Las Vegas. What?! This band has been around for seven years and we Victims can't gather up a guide for our fellow fans, who just want to see more than Sam's Town? For shame! Alright I GUESS I can create the guide myself, since I've already enlightened fans about such important issues as, where Brandon bought his purple tiger hoodie, and, who has copied his feather epaulettes. Yes. You're welcome. Moving on-
This is the Victim's Guide to Fabulous Las Vegas
First, some required knowledge before you DARE SET FOOT THERE-
-You must think of LV as "the Killers fan's Mecca." Because that's essentially what it is. And you are just a lowly commoner Victim making a pilgrimage to the holy land, essentially. This is a replenishing, soul-fulfilling experience you are about to embark on. Are you even ready? I'm talking Magdalena levels of pilgrimage epicness!
-It is hot as fuck there in the summer. It's DRY and HOT and the SUN is so intense, you will practically melt. I know Brandon makes it seem like it's heaven on earth, but really you're going to be sweating like a pig if you go in the summer.
-You have to memorize TK's version of the state song "Home Means Nevada" before you set foot there. Get to practicing.
-The moment you get out of your car, or airport, and step outside on the city of Las Vegas's land, you have to fall to the floor and bow three times at its holiness. Say (while kneeling, with your hand on your heart): "I have come to the land of Brandon, Ronnie, Mark, and Dave- this is *THE* Fabulous Las Vegas- (this is when you start bowing on the ground three times:) I AM NOT WORTHY. I AM NOT WORTHY. I AM NOT WORTHY." Or, you know, don't. Just don't blame me if the LV gods (TK) frown upon your disrespect.
Now, the guide itself includes three levels. The BASIC FAN level, which is for half-assed fans who have a life. Whatever, they'll have the cliché pictures, but they won't have the true experience. The next level is the LEGIT STAN level, which is awesome and allows you to pat yourself on the back because, congratulations, you are a TRUE Killers fan! Phew, you must be relieved. Finally, the third and final level is the CRAZY MOTHERFUCKER, which means you are at an epic level of creepiness and is, quite frankly, more shameful than anything. Look at your life, look at your choices.
-Visit the Sam's Town sign picture- "When you walk around Liverpool, you think of The Beatles, or you go to Manchester and you think of The Smiths or Oasis. I want you to come to Las Vegas and think of Sam's Town. And I think we've started to capture that, which is a truer version of The Killers, 'cause that's where we're from.... I used to live across the street from Sam's Town. Maybe it'll be like our Abbey Road where people go to take pictures.... I wouldn't mind it. [2006 when Sam's Town came out]--- [fyi, helpful tip from Telekon, mod at TKC: "You can get a free bus from Harrah's on the strip, it will take you to Sam's and when you have finished there you can get the free bus back to the strip."- they also added: "Billy Bobs steak house in Sam's is amazing."]
-Go to the Hard Rock Hotel and take a picture with the Bones skeletons [at the casino entrance of the cafe on Paradise Road]
sign at Hard Rock Café (*) - ["the one on the Strip, upstairs (entrance to the restaurant) and you'll immediately see the live Sam's Town tour sign on the wall" -nicolaflowersuk at TKC]
-(for BFlo's basic fans) visit Flamingo Hotel, because his album is named after it
-stare at and bask in the ~beautiful Las Vegas sunset~ that Brandon cries himself into a frenzy over in every. single. interview.
-Lyric connection- listen to certain songs while at certain places (a promenade for Jenny, a highway for WYWY, a place with strip club leaflets for WTFLV, a corner of a main street for RMM...)
-Drive in the LV desert with all of the windows open all the way, blasting WYWY/Crossfire/WTFLV/This River is Wild/Bling. Wearing cowboy hats would be a nice touch. Or fancy suits:
-Stand by the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
-Go to Luv-It frozen custard, "the best frozen custard in Vegas"- and you must say all of these phrases on the way and when you get there: "Dude, we should get custard! Oh man, he's never had custard, for hell's sake!" -- (because of this famous '05 Spin article excerpt: "Flowers suggests dessert: "Dude, we should get custard!" "Custard," Vannucii seconds. "Do you like Custard?" Flowers asks me. "I've never had it." "Oh, man. He's never had custard, for hell's sake! We gotta go to Luv Its. It's the best frozen custard in Vegas." Our driver navigates down East Oakley Boulevard toward a wood-paneled shack almost hidden from the main drag. "I'm so happy! I can't believe we're here," Flowers says, smiling. So we're eating custard, eggy and rich...")//// ALSO again in August 2012, The Killers gave director Werner Herzog a tour of Las Vegas and along with taking him to eat tacos and drive around the Mojave, they brought him here. According to Ronnie Werner chose banana split flavor, and Ronnie got blueberry shake.
-Eat some deep-fried Twinkies at Mermaid's Casino. Brandon recommends it. [the whole interview excerpt from 2005, when the interviewer asked what he should do in Vegas: Ronnie: "Well, um, stay on the south end of the strip, which is where the newer hotels are. And you can eat really well for free if you wanted to. Have a good time. Spend some money. Eat well." Bandon: "The really big important thing is stay on the south end of the strip. That's the main thing." R: [laughs] "Well you've got old Vegas, where you can get deep-fried Twinkies y'know for a dollar..." Brandon: "Which ARE good!" Ronnie: [laughs] "..which are good."]
- Go to the buffet at the Mirage, because according to one of Brandon's quotes in an interview with Zane Lowe at T in the Park- "We've seen James, and Arcade Fire... it's better than a buffet at the Mirage!"
-Walk around Aladdin Hotel, where all of TK worked. Find the guy who works there, who told Brandon "good luck with your 80's thing" - laugh in his face; Before forming, all four Killers worked in the Aladdin Resort at the same time. They remember eyeballing each other but never spoke.
-Go inside Sam's Town- explore and watch the colorful fountain show
-Take a picture with a Sam's Town animatronic animal
-On Brandon's order, DON'T eat at a cheap hotel buffet. Or maybe go, to understand why he's so averse to it- "I had suggested we attempt gluttony at one of those cheap all-you-can-eat buffets that the casinos offer. Somewhere like Circus Circus. Plastic rolls. Frozen butter. Surf and turf in amber. "That means we'd have to, like, eat that stuff," Flowers had protested."
-Visit the Neon Boneyard- lots of Killers photoshoots have taken place there. It's also where ATTTID video was filmed. Also where this famous exchange happened- "Brandon Flowers, the Killers' enigmatic and svelte vocalist, is not a happy pop star. In a windy parking lot just outside Vegas' spooky Neon Graveyard, he's cold and he's tired and, much to his chagrin, guitarist Dave Keuning won't let him in his car. "Fucking asshole." "I'm out of here," Keuning tells him, which frankly does little to help his mood. "But I don't have a car," Flowers snaps back."
-Visit the Red Rock mountains that TK helped save from real estate development in Jan. '12
-Go to Henderson, drive around. idk wtf you should do there but you'll be in Henderson, haiii!
-Find the trailer park where ATTTID was shot (hint, it's apparently near the Stratosphere tower)
-Go to Little Chapel of the Flowers where Ronnie used to take pictures- tell owner Dave Foote that his hair isn't that cool- "The pressure led to a rift with Vannucci's boss, chapel owner Dave Foote. Or maybe it was just the hair. "He was my archenemy. He was a really bad dude," Vannucci says. "We were locked in a power struggle of cool. He thought he had much cooler hair, but he just had cooler hair."
-Go to Gold Coast Hotel where Brandon was a bellboy (Bell MAN, sorry (quote)). As the bellman to deliver condoms.- "I was working there when we were signed."
- Go to Binion's Horse Shoe Hotel & Casino and order grilled cheese and corn bread for $3.75 for lunch from the snack bar, and then go to the secret east wing downstairs to find the ultra secret poker place - "i meet up with vannucci at binion's horse shoe,a casino in fremont square,near old vegas.it's an unpretentious,middle class joint with loads of button down,seedy charm.built in the forties and greatly expanded since,it's one of the oldest remaining casinos in vegas,a stark contrast to posh mega dens like the bellagio.the decor is all about floral print carpet, cowboy memorablilia and pictures of famous poker players like red winn,puggy pearson and wild bill hickok. Vannucci grabs lunch at the snack bar,which serves specialties like hobo stew an ugly meat and potatoes mishmash to patrons seated at a long oak counter."I like this place because it's real old school,"vannucci says."my parents have been coming here forever.I just had a grilled cheese and corn bread for $3.75.that's a reasonable price,man." Growing up,vannucci was a binion's regular with his dad-a friends family used to own the place vannucci navigates like a tour guide."here i'll show you the really old part of this place,"he says,walking toward the original,unalterd portion of the hotel."not many people know about this."we climb up a hidden staircase in what's now the binion's east end,sparsely outfitted with rustic oak furnishing and tiny hallways.After passing through a couple of unmarked doors we're back downstairs,in front of the poker tables."for true poker players,thisis still the place,vannucci says "i have pictures of me as akid next to the million dollars in cash meant for tournament winners.but it's funny I don't even knwo how to play."
-Visit Beauty Bar, where Ryan Pardey (The Captain/Santa!) had worked for a long time and TK hung out a lot- "the killers have a post show party at beauty bar and want to steal a few precious moments at home." + In Mark's words, from 2005 Nylon mag: "
-Go to the Palms and try to find/get into (lol good luck) the fancy recording studio where Sam's Town was recorded. TK were the FIRST to record there, and since then about a million other legends have.
-Go to an Elton John show and pretend you are going to have dinner with him after like TK-
-Go to where Celine Dion's show is (obviously don't see it, duh. Although I won't disrespect you that much because this video is hilarious) and mourn the fact that it was in the place where Brandon's favorite movie theater was demolished. Although he did once say "the show's supposed to be spectacular."
-Sushi Roku- if you'll spot the boys (especially Brandon) anywhere, it's here- Even family man Brandon Flowers has to eat. Thus we have him being spotted enjoying lunch at Sushi Roku inside the Forum Shops at Caesars today with family in tow. Reportedly, the singer is a frequent visitor of the acclaimed restaurant.
-Visit the Hard Rock arena where Brandon saw Oasis and when he heard Don't Look Back in Anger, he decided to start a GUITAR rock band-
-Visit the shimmer room at the Hilton where TK performed, and Brandon got to use the same dressing room as Elvis. Maybe you can go into the dressing room? Doubt it...
-Visit Dior Homme at the Bellagio (?) because BFlo loves dat high fash
-visit Precious Slut, where Brandon got his ear pierced although it probably got new owners because that's a terrible name. If you're ever going to get anything pierced, maybe you should do it there- "I got my ear pierced there. It wasn't called Precious Slut then."
-visit Buffalo Exchange on Flamingo Road because that's where Brandon and Tana first met! Wear a neon pink coat and chat up a cute shy boy, you might just meet your future BFlo. "he met while shopping in a Vegas thrift store. She was wearing a bootleg Joy Division T-shirt with Mickey Mouse on it. She thought he was cute and they began dating the next day."
-Find a street sign for Flamingo Road because that's an ~ultra important road~ for bflo
-go to UNLV to the practice room where Ronnie used to sneak TK in the middle of the night- The band broke into the music room at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for late-night rehearsals. "If you pull on the doors hard enough, they just open," Vannucci confesses. "They make this big crack."
-Walk along the Truckee River. TK said it was their favorite thing to do in LV on their twitter Q&A with fans, 9/20/12-
-Go to the Stratosphere- "on the corner of main street"
-visit Chapalas, Brandon's favorite Mexican restaurant-
-order a huge steak and coke at the Palm in Cesars Palace.- IMitt Romney and Brandon Flowers had lunch at the Palm at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. This was reported elsewhere Wednesday morning and confirmed that afternoon by Jen Appel, PR rep for Flowers and The Killers. It was a private lunch, she said in an e-mail, so Flowers has nothing to say to the media about it. (From Feb '11) Maybe he personally asked Brandon to do that Mormon video? lol.
-Meet an Elvis Presley impersonator! -
Downtown - Fremont Street - the 4 Queens and the Sassy Sally sign (i think) is where they've done photo shoots outside of.... (make sure you're there at 8pm to catch the canopy shows, every 30mins)" - nicolaflowersuk at TKC
asked the band why they named their album after the Sam's Town casino, and what would one expect if they were to visit there. Their reply "A great bowling alley," Flowers said. "It's got nothing on the Belaggio, but I used to work across from Sam's Town and live across from Sam's Town, and you just have to see this place."
-The Crown & Anchor pub, where Brandon got his girlfriend cheating on him- which he based Mr Brightside on. http://www.yelp.com/biz/crown-and-anchor-british-pub-las-vegas
"I was asleep and I knew something was wrong. I have these instincts. I went to the Crown and Anchor and my girlfriend was there with another guy."
When I was younger I grew up in a place called Henderson and there were no freeways to get to Las Vegas from Henderson. You basically had to come down this highway called Boulder Highway - that was how you got to Arizona; that was how you progressed away from Las Vegas. So to get to Las Vegas, that was also the same Boulder Highway. Now it's grown so much and there are freeways all over the place connecting you. Whenever we would go to Las Vegas it was very exciting, even though we were almost in Las Vegas - you could see it if you're high enough in Henderson. It was still an exciting thing because you'd have family in town and you would probably be going to the Mirage (hotel), or if your mum was going shopping, the movies - anything like that; that all existed in Las Vegas. So the only way to get there was down Boulder Highway, and you could see Sam's Town on the right - that always solidified it for me that we were actually getting somewhere because you were then in Las Vegas when you got to Sam's Town. It's this local place that's western-themed. So anyway, for me, that's what this album feels like; we're getting somewhere exciting now. We've started something with "Hot Fuss" but now we're moving on down the road."
Night: I like playing penny slots, which is probably a Las Vegas thing. There are lots of small casinos around which we go to.
"A club will open up and close just as quickly because it doesn't have the funding. You've got to remember, places like the House of Blues and the joint at the Hard Rock are funded by the hotel and casino industries, so even when there aren't any shows, they can still stay afloat. It doesn't work that way with other clubs, so a lot of them only last for a few months--and the bands seem to follow that same trend. Everybody gives it a good six months or so and then quits because nothing's happening for them. It's kind of sad, because I know of some great musicians and good songwriters there. But nothing's really come out of Vegas to put the place on the map."
-Visit the location where the Spaceman video was shot- "1501 Nevada Highway in Boulder City, NV 89005 is where they shot the video for Spaceman. You can go see the old hangar where we all ate and the wardrobe was, and pretend like b-flow and his family are still sitting in the trailer out back! They filmed it right next to my house and I was in the video is why I know this." - luchadorman at TKC
But he was fascinated with old-school Las Vegas - 'with Frank Sinatra and the glamour and having a Cadillac'
-get a salad with some mysterious special dressing, pizza, and nuclear fries at Metro Pizza- "This place has the best salad dressing ever," says Flowers. "I don't know what they put in it," We're at Metro Pizza on East Tropicana Avenue. Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra hits play on the P.A., as they do everywhere in this town."Try these nuclear fries," he demands. "Nuclear" fries, by the way, are irradiated with the same spicy red pepper that covers the chicken fingers, which come next. Then there are individual pizzas, chicken parmigiana, bread, pasta. We may have hit the carb jackpot, but it doesn't feel particularly sinful.
-Visit the Liberace museum on Tropicana, look at the Rolls-Royce, Lasagna suit, grand piano, prayer room (OBV READ IT BC BRANDON DID), and then go to the gift shop, try on a sequin jacket, and make a Zoolander face-- I should probably mention that we're staring at our fragmented reflections in Liberace's mirror-covered 1962 Phantom Five Rolls-Royce while pondering envy. We've visited the Liberace Museum on Tropicana to see if there's anything to covet. There is much. "He was the first. Before Elton John. Before Björk," Flowers says. "I first came here when I was five." We pass the "Lasagna Suit," a red-and-gold ensemble in which the maestro used to cook. "I need to see the grand piano," Flowers announces... We find the Baldwin grand mounted on a riser in the middle of the main floor. Seven feet long and covered with Austrian rhinestones, it's the centerpiece of the entire exhibit. "Are you feeling envious?" I prod. Flowers nods and laughs. There are signs that politely ask visitors to refrain from touching anything, even though almost everything here, especially the keys on the famous instrument, beckons to be tinkled...The re-creation of Liberace's prayer room is preserved behind glass in the hallway that leads to the master bedroom. It's gilded but somehow less ostentatious than the rest of the collection. A Bible is permanently open to Proverbs. Flowers leans in and reads, "Better is the poor man walking in his simplicity than in his rich and crooked ways." He shakes his head. "Liberace had his lover surgically altered to look like him." He'll repeat this three times as we move toward the café and gift shop. "That's bad, when you wanna have sex with yourself." There's little envy for the extremity of Liberace's conflicted psyche: the piety versus the screaming ego. Safe from such choices for now, Flowers browses the gift shop. He tries on a sequined vest, making a Zoolander face, but decides not to purchase it.
CRAZY FUCKING STAN
-steal a cup from Spago. It won't be Morissey's, but close enough. Also Brandon frequents that place a lot. But it's expensive as hell! - Brandon Flowers of The Killers, spotted at Spago (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Sunday.
-Find the Banana Republic where Dave worked when TK started (Probably Forum Shops, but not a sure thing.)- It was just a shitty job. I was always in back folding clothes. I always dreamt about getting out of there. The only good part was listening to music back there. Radio, CDs, I made my own mix tapes with The Cure, Elton John and so on, to keep my mood up. One day my manager came and wouldnt allow me to listen to music in the back anymore. After 1 1/2 years. I wanted to kill him." and ""I'm the only guy that works in my store who's ventured into the dressing room with a client on more than one occasion."
-Find the hospital where Mark delivered blood
-go to sam boyd race track
-Go to Chaparrall high school where Brandon went.
-Clark High School (where Ronnie originally went) and Western High School (where he moved)
-Skyline restaurant ["I eat in a restaurant called the Skyline hotel and casino"- Brandon]
-Horizon Street- where Brandon grew up [ "I grew up on a street called Horizon"]
-go to the Cosmpolitan because Brandon performed there once and it's new and stuff. ["The Comso hotel, just in its main entrance is the Chandelier where Brandon performed on its opening. (check out on line who's playing at the Book and Stage at the Cosmo, theres some great bands play there and the shows are free.)" -nicolaflowersuk at TKC]
-order raspberry mojitos at L'Atelier at the MGM- the killers aren't completely averse to the occaional hot spot like L'Atelier,where keuning takes me just before saturday nights gig.It's a pricey french resturant inside the MGM Grand with crushed velvet chairs and candlelit tables.Keuning discovered the place while milling around before a rolling stones show at the MGM.he keeps coming back because it has,he says,"the worlds best mojitos."we order raspberry versions and kick back.
-Visit The Joint because the Killers christianed it
-find Joseph the tailor! "Earlier, I met with my tailor here, Joseph, for about an hour. People in Las Vegas can’t really get their heads around how tight I want something to be— it blows their minds. But Joseph, he understands me."
-do a photoshoot an hour from LV in the desert sun-
-visit Anthropology- supposedly Tana shops there! If you wanna get ur own bflo you better get to dressing the part, mmkay.
- Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House- Brandon Flowers from The Killers enjoyed a quiet dinner with his wife at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in his hometown of Las Vegas
-Visit treasure Island hotel- BFlo's dad was a bellman there
-As well as a desert bighorn sheep - the Nevada state animal
-find "the thai place" near Dave's house- I don't really leave my house too much though, I go to the Thai place down the street then go back to my house. That's it.
-wake up and immediately read USA Today and listen to Nick Cave if you want to be like BFlo a la 2005- Morning: I start the day with USA Today, my favourite newspaper. It's got it all covered. There's the serious news, which is usually bad, then there's the fun movie star stuff which lightens it up. I'll also stick on a CD. Nick Cave's last single, There She Goes, My Beautiful World, knocked me off my feet. It's so good - it's like Elvis-style gospel.
Early gigs : The Junkyard (8x), Three Angry Wives Pub (2x), Huntridge Tavern (2x), The Huntridge Theatre (They opened for the Libertines here in Aug. 1, 2003!), Crown & Anchor Pub (2x), Money Plays (1x), House of Blues.
-go to the Ice House lounge where tk played before they were famous. it's closed now, but there must be something new there now, no? http://www.yelp.com/biz/icehouse-lounge-las-vegas
-watch a Le Rêve show at the Wynn, where Only the Young video was filmed
-go to the golf course where Brandon used to play and work- Stallion Mountain golf course. -""If I had to go back to one of my old jobs it would be working at Stallion Mountain golf course in Nevada," he says, laughing. "You do pretty well out of the tips and, also, you get to play golf for free."
-Celebrity club, where they performed- It's a Wednesday night in late August with the Las Vegas heat pushing 100 degrees, and we're backstage at Celebrity, a mid-size club miles from the Strip. Brandon Flowers, the Killers' baby-faced lead singer, is nervous. The Killers are about to play their first show since February,
-random 24 hour diners- They love the unnatural scenery too, especially the city's lesser-known [?] twenty-four-hour diners, the places [with?] more than a touch of Old Vegas.
-We're sitting in Trattoria del Lupo, a swank restaurant in the Mandalay Bay, the tropical-themed hotel and casino on the Vegas Strip. [where the interview for Spin's '7 deadly sins' cover story early 2005
-go to an Urban Outfitters at some mall (?) because Tana used to work there- Flower's fiancée, a wholesome-looking blonde named Tana, works at Urban Outfitters in the nearby mall. We duck in to say hello and show off his new $75 do.
-Mandalay Bay lobby Macaws - "This feels a bit like Bon Jovi revisiting the old neighborhood in New Jersey," Vannucci quips. It's early afternoon. We have convened in the Mandalay Bay lobby in front of the caged macaws wheezing from secondhand smoke, and are piling into the back of a black limo. (Spin feb 05)
-limo tour- "The Hilton sign is the city's biggest free-standing sign. One day it fell down. That's the motel where they traced Mohammed Atta's credit card," Vannucci says as we cruise downtown. "They'd been staying there, planning 9/11. That's where the guy from Suddenly Susan hung himself. That's where we played a gig once. A guy got shot there.""That strip club has men and women," Flowers chimes in. Then he points to a tattoo parlor. "I got my ear pierced there. It wasn't called Precious Slut then."
-Get haircuts at the Mandalay Bay like Brandon and Ronnie- haircuts at the Mandalay Bay's posh salon. I'm a little surprised when I make the reservation and the receptionist says, "Oh, Brandon. He's been here before." (Brandon's cut was $75). [BTW Brandon still goes here regularly to get haircuts as of 9/25/12- according to his interview with KROQ's Kevin & Bean show]
-Go to "Kiehl’s Since 1851" body moisturizer-and-such shop at the Forum because apparently Brandon was spotted there, according to the Forum's official Facebook page.
-go to the Fleur de lys lounge- We wander instead to the Fleur De Lys lounge, a candlelit bar with velvet curtains and soft couches festooned with the kind of bead-stuffed pillows that rave kids used to fondle. They certainly invite sloth. We stretch out. Smoke. Drink.
[FYI, this guide is also partially on Yelp. I'll add all of the sites to it eventually]
Next time... The Killers fan's guide to England!
Edit: Awesome TK fans who ~get it~ (send me a link to your proof and I might just post yours as well...):
- Imaginary Men: https://imaginarymen.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/sleep-not-included/ + http://imaginarymen.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/flowers-friday-big-ass-belt-buckle-edition/ + http://imaginarymen.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/i-see-sams-town-and-sams-town-sees-you/
(I swear I wrote that LV = Mecca before I found your posts! Great minds... great obsessions...)
-Living in a Dustland Fairytale: http://livinginadustlandfairytale.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/big-talk-the-best-night-of-my-life/ + http://livinginadustlandfairytale.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/i-see-brandon-i-see-sams-town/
-Ankh Vintage http://ankhvintage.blogspot.com/2011/04/vegas-killers-way.html
-Prof Thump http://forums.klipsch.com/blogs/markb/archive/2010/03/31/the-killers.aspx
-I'm Looking for a Song to Sing http://lookinforasongtosing.tumblr.com/post/20393340861/bucket-list-day-1
+ more cool links about LV:
-Time Out's 20 great things to do in Las Vegas (includes Sam's Town, Luv-It)
-The Guardian's ultimate Vegas playlist (incl. TK, of course)
-Take the Handle- Off the Beaten Path guide to Las Vegas
-Pinterest page- "In the Neighborhood..."