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October 20, 2014

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Fast-rising Killers return to Vegas for sold-out show

A look at a few of Southern Nevada's New Year's Eve weekend concert options:

Just how life-changing was 2004 for Las Vegas-based rock band the Killers?

Consider: In 2003 the four musicians were still working day jobs and playing to small crowds at off-Strip venues.

Their plans for early 2005? Fifteen shows in the United Kingdom -- all already sold out -- followed by four concerts in Japan.

And sandwiched between those overseas dates is a little something called the Grammy Awards ceremony, where the Killers will compete with U2, Elvis Costello and others in three nominated categories.

"I all really hasn't hit me yet," drummer Ronnie Vannucci, one of three Southern Nevada natives in the band, said in a phone interview on Dec. 7, the day the Killers learned of their Grammy good fortune.

"We don't get to realize, or at least feel, the effect of what's happening, beyond our little nucleus," he said. "I guess the more and more I talk to people, the more I slowly realize what's going on."

The Killers -- Vannucci, vocalist/keyboardist Brandon Flowers, guitarist David Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer -- celebrate their breakthrough year with a performance tonight performance tonight at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay.

Doors for the all-ages event open at 7 p.m. San Diego's Louis XIV is scheduled to open. Tickets are sold out, as they were for the Killers' most recent hometown show, Sept. 19 at the House of Blues.

Vannucci said the band is looking forward to getting back in front of a Vegas audience -- and sleeping at home for a change.

"There's something comforting about playing your hometown. You know that you're gonna sleep in your own bed that night," he said. "It doesn't sound like much, but I think one would agree if they spent 17 or 18 weeks on the road with six days off. It gets tiring after a while."

After the House of Blues show, the Killers finish off 2004 by co-headlining Los Angeles' Giant Village New Year's Eve celebration, along with the Crystal Method (which is also rooted in Las Vegas) and DJs Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed, Mark Farina and Jason Bentley.

Then it's off to the U.K. and back for the Grammys on Feb. 13 at Los Angeles' Staples Center.

The Killers' debut album, "Hot Fuss," is up for best rock album, against Costello's "The Delivery Man," Green Day's "American Idiot," Hoobastank's "The Reason" and Velvet Revolver's "Contraband."

The band's hit single, "Somebody Told Me," will compete in two categories: best rock song and best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal.

In the best rock song category, the song is up against Green Day's "American Idiot," Velvet Revolver's "Fall to Pieces," Modest Mouse's "Float On" and U2's "Vertigo."

In the best rock performance by a duo or group, the song is up against "American Idiot," "Vertigo," Costello's "Monkey to Man" and Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out."

The Killers are writing songs for the follow-up to "Hot Fuss," which Vannucci said could be recorded in Las Vegas in the spring.

According to British music Web site www.nme.com, the band will include three new tunes -- titled "I Won't Let You Down," "Daddy's Eyes" and "It's Only Natural" -- in its upcoming U.K. sets.

"We wrote some great songs on the first one, but these have more of a classic feel," Flowers recently told billboard.com.

Vannucci said the Killers might perform one or more of the new tunes tonight.

"I think we're probably going to be showcasing a couple, at least one new song, maybe a couple of different ideas," he said. "But we'll see how it all goes."