BBC 🔵 The Killers give England fans euphoric night at O2 – Shango Media
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BBC 🔵 The Killers give England fans euphoric night at O2

By Ian Youngs, Culture reporter

Chris Phelps The Killers on stageChris Phelps

Destiny was calling England’s footballers in the Euro 2024 semi-final – but thousands of fans with tickets to see The Killers at London’s O2 arena on Wednesday thought they would have to miss the match.

However, the US rock band had a solution – they delighted the crowd by showing the climax of the game on the big screen.

And as the arena erupted at the final whistle, the band ramped up the celebrations further by immediately launching into their euphoric anthem Mr Brightside.

« I’ve been to some pretty cool gigs in my time and I had mixed feelings when I realised my birthday present was the Killers at the O2 tonight clashing with the semi-final, » wrote author and journalist Tim Shipman on X.

« Then they did this and we went from delirium to my favourite song. Perfection. »

Chris Phelps Big screen showing England's Declan Rice celebrating, with drum kit in the foregroundChris Phelps

Sky reporter Martin Kimber wrote: « Possibly the most electric moment of my life. When the Killers livestream the Euros right before England win and they hit us with Mr Brightside. »

Another fan, Amelia, wrote: « England going through to the final and the Killers immediately playing Mr Brightside after will forever be a core memory for me now. »

The song’s lyrics « I just can’t look, it’s killing me » are usually apt for England games, but the players took control of Wednesday’s semi-final when substitute striker Ollie Watkins scored in the 90th minute.

Chris Phelps Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning on stage looking up at the screenChris Phelps

Frontman Brandon Flowers was pictured at the front of the O2 stage watching the final minutes with the fans, before red and white streamers were fired over the jubilant crowd at full-time.

Drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr re-emerged wearing an England shirt.

« Tonight we played for England! » the band posted, alongside a flag emoji showing the St George’s Cross.

Wednesday’s show was the band’s fifth of six gigs at the arena, at the end of their UK tour.

They will now move on to Spain, playing a festival in Madrid on Saturday. But they don’t have a gig on Sunday, so won’t have to switch sides on the night that England take on Spain in the Euro 2024 final.

John Bishop avoids final clash

After the semi-final, comedian John Bishop immediately announced he would rearrange his show in Wolverhampton on Sunday so it doesn’t clash with the match, which kicks off at 20:00 BST.

« I’m not doing the show at eight o’clock. The show’s going to get moved to the afternoon, » he said in a video on social media, with England players celebrating on TV in the background.

He added: « I know it won’t suit everybody, so anyone who can’t make it, we’ll give you a refund.

« But we’re definitely going to move the time to Sunday afternoon, because there’s no chance I’m going to be doing it at eight o’clock because I’m going to be busy watching these boys. »

His show will now begin at 14:00.

Other major gigs scheduled in England for Sunday evening include US rapper Megan Thee Stallion at the Co-op Live arena in Manchester, Doja Cat at the Wireless festival in London’s Finsbury Park, and South Korean boy band Stray Kids at the BST festival in Hyde Park.

TV ratings winner

Some entertainment arenas that don’t have gigs in the diary, like the O2 and Manchester’s AO, will show the final for thousands of fans on their big screens.

Millions of others will be glued to their TVs. The viewing figures for the semi-final peaked at more than 20 million.

An estimated 20.2 million people were watching ITV between 21:50 and 21:55 on Wednesday as Watkins’ winning goal went in and the match ended.

In comparison, England’s penalty shoot-out against Switzerland in the quarter-final on Saturday attracted a five-minute peak of 16.8 million.

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