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Stage Buzz: Flosstradamus and The Killers


Capping a year that has seen the Chicago duo remix for Usher, release several EPs, and tour with some of EDM’s biggest names (they perform on New Year’s Eve in Detroit with Skrillex), Flosstradamus literally heads home for the holidays courtesy of a pair of sold-out shows this weekend at Metro. Influenced early on by Chicago’s then burgeoning house scene, J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) went from spinning legendary gigs each month at North Side watering hole Town Hall Pub to performing at major national festivals like South By Southwest, Coachella, and Lollapalooza in a relatively short amount of time. Recent collaborations with artists like Kid Sister (indeed Young’s sister) on “Luuk Out Gurl” (as close to straight-ahead pop as the duo has ever gotten) and Danny Brown (“From The Back” is as catchy as it is raunchy) on the Jubilation EP are indicative of the pair’s range and continue to expose their music to a wider audience. Citing everything from Prince to Cat Stevens and Beastie Boys to Daft Punk, Flosstradamus brings a massive amount of energy to the stage. (Saturday and Sunday@Metro.)

One can debate the merits of Killers frontman Brandon Flowers‘ over-the-top bravado, but it’s hard to argue with results. The quartet’s September release Battle Born (their fourth studio album) debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 selling 113,000 copies in its first week in the U.S. alone. Following a brief hiatus, demand for The Killers seems to be at a fever pitch, and the band, in all its arena-ready glory, responds accordingly, headlining what has become an increasingly rare idea for the rocker under sixty: a stadium tour. Fittingly, * Battle Born * finds the band once again embracing the epic. “Here With Me” sees them team with director Tim Burton and actress Winona Ryder on a video that manages to bring the classic ’80s power ballad to 2012 (new wave keyboards and all). “Don’t want your picture on my cell phone/I want you here with me,” Flowers howls. Chuckle if you like, but somewhere REO Speedwagon is nodding in approval. Have no fear, this album also doles out heaping portions of the slickly-produced, sticky sweet guitar that’s come to define The Killers as well. To that end, it’s hard to avoid just how much Battle Born’s first single “Runaways” sounds like Asia’s “Heat Of The Moment.” Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with a little style over substance – a lesson gleaned from the band’s Vegas roots. (Friday@U.I.C. Pavilion with Tegan And Sara.)

–Jim Ryan

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