Jimmy Kimmel Live: September 14, 2010
I have many obsessions, but none burn quite as brightly as my undying love for The Killers. So when it was announced that Brandon Flowers was scheduled to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live to support his debut solo album “Flamingo”, I devoted my energy to securing the tickets. Kimmel is well known for delivering outstanding musical guests, and I’ve had the priviledge of seeing Depeche Mode, Huey Lewis, and Kelly Clarkson – absolutely free of charge. The bands play two songs to air on Kimmel, and then they go on to perform more songs exclusively for the live audience.
There is a website where you can request free Kimmel tickets at www.1iota.com. So as I scrolled down the list of upcoming guests, I saw Brandon Flowers scheduled. But before I got too excited, I saw next to his name in big red letters “SOLD OUT”. These are free tickets, but once they hit capacity on the ticket requests, you can no longer request the tickets. However, I know from past experience that when other people give up their tickets, the site will make tickets available until they reach capacity again.
So I began checking the site daily. It paid off because not only did the musical performance tickets become available, but the studio show tickets opened up as well, and the studio guest was my favorite funny gal, Kathy Griffin. My friend Nichole and I could not have been more ecstatic. We are both massive Killers fans, and we idolize the humor of Griffin. And Griffin was a last minute guest, because scheduled earlier was Dax Shepard, and I’m not that interested in seeing a guy who used to be on “Punked”. If Griffin hadn’t been scheduled to appear on the show, Nichole and I definitely would have just have attended the musical performance.
Thankfully we DID attend the studio show, because as we waited in line on Hollywood Blvd, something extraordinary happened. A guy who we later learned to be the audience producer approached the two girls behind us and asked who they were there to see. They looked blankly at him, and he asked if they were just fans of the show. They said yes, they just like Kimmel. So I’m looking at him, and he turns to me and asks who we are there to see. With zero hestiation, Nichole and I say “Brandon Flowers”. So the guy pulls out two green wristbands and begins wrapping them around our wrists. We ask him what they are for and he replys, “Just trust me.” He tells us that when the audience gets up after the studio show to go outside for the Brandon Flowers performance, to wait in the studio and he would give us further instructions. Naturally the girls behind us began whining that they love Brandon Flowers too, but he told them that we got the last two wristbands. Nichole and I look at each other with wild eyes, screaming inside with anticipation and disbelief. What did the magnificient flimsy florescent green bracelets mean? What did we just win.
The entire show I was dying with curiosity. Kathy Griffin didn’t disappoint and was as hilarious as expected. But I could barely even focus because my eyes kept gravitating towards the green wristband wrapped around my forearm.
At the end of the studio show, everyone filed out of the freezing cold studio, and the audience producer instructed us to sit in the front row. Then they brought in a small group of people, who we found out had been waiting since the early morning to attend this special event. We were about to witness an intimate interview with Brandon Flowers by Kimmel, to air exclusively on Kimmel’s youtube page. The rest of the screaming fans outside wouldn’t get to see it. Almost the entire studio audience had been escorted out. In fact, only about twenty people were in the room with us.
They had a little set up with instument boxes for Kimmel and Flowers to sit on, and Kimmel sat down and introduced Brandon Flowers. Then out Flowers came, all kinds of cute in his western style vest and distressed jeans. We watched for fifteen minutes as Kimmel and Flowers bantered about the new album, the fate of The Killers, jokes about Santa Claus, and stories about growing up in Las Vegas. While we had waited for this to begin, Kimmel’s warm up guy told us that Kimmel and Flowers are friends, and that Flowers goes over to Kimmel’s house for football games. As the interview unfolded, their friendship was very apparent, and Kimmel’s love for Flowers as a musician was obvious. It was casual and effortless, like watching two buddies catch up.
When the interview was over, Flowers rose to make his way to the outdoor stage to perform. Nichole and I briefly had a chance to meet Jimmy Kimmel and thank him for allowing us to be there, and he graciously took a picture with us. My mind was spinning with overstimulation. And the fun wasn’t even over yet, because then we were led to the front of the outdoor audience to watch the performance.
Flowers opened with “Crossfire” and “Magdalena”, both of which would air on the Kimmel show. He then went on to perform about six more songs, including “Only the Young”, “Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts”, “Hard Enough”, “Swallow It”, “Right Behind You”, and ended with a serene and simple acoustic version of The Killers’ hit “When You Were Young”. My eyes filled with stars as I swayed to the melodic brilliance of Brandon’s voice, my insides swelling with satisfaction and hope and a renewed lust for creating my own happiness.
Once the concert came to a close, Nichole and I floated back to my car. We just couldn’t believe our luck. We concluded that we must be witches, because we are able to manifest our dreams into realities. There are many more instances that go beyond this experience, for example the time when I met The Killers in Cleveland over five years ago, and my then roommate Krystal and I proceeded to drive Brandon Flowers, bassist Mark Stoermer, and tour manager Ryan Pardey in my 2005 Saturn Ion back to their tour bus after an afterparty for their show at Nautica during the Hot Fuss tour. That is a whole other story, but it was the first time I discovered that when you want something badly enough, as long as you put yourself out there and pay attention to your surroundings, you can make almost anything happen. Maybe that was the birth of my inner witch. As Nichole put it, I am the Chief Director of Witches, and she is the Associate Witch. We decided we are good witches, granting those wishes within ourselves that you can sometimes be almost too afraid to wish for fear of them never coming true. But we do wish them. We resist the fear and dream big and make things happen. And we encourage others to do the same. Don’t shy away from your desires. Respect your wants, and you may also find yourself face to face with your most precious fantasy as it morphs into a surreal phenomenal reality.
[Scroll below for video of the Flowers interview and performances of “Crossfire”, “Magdalena”, and “When You Were Young”. I also included a skit from earlier this year featuring Kimmel going on a celebrity killing spree with The Killers.]