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LIVE REVIEW: I Am I, The Killers

Sat. Jan. 31, Art's Bar & Grill, Thurs. Jan. 29, House of Blues

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I Am I
Sat. Jan. 31
Art's Bar & Grill

It takes particular skills to win over a crowd of regulars at a no-frills hangout like Art's Bar. Many of the weekly house bands and acoustic players effectively tailor their sets of covers with fine results. On Saturday, I Am I (a.k.a. "i AM i") — a trio that enjoyed a heyday in the local scene in the early 2000s — plowed through a few energetic sets of '90s-era alt-rock (Bush, Lit, Weezer, 7Mary3) and a few '80s standards (The Romantics, Cracker, AC/DC, Tom Petty).

This lineup seems like a spin-off project from other local bands. Singer/bassist Jeff Calafiore (Foxy Mondays, Joy Ride) and drummer/singer Jim Ratcliff (Party Mouth) play with singer/guitarist Joe Hanna of My (R)evolution in a new quartet called Zero to Never. Ratcliff and Hanna play in Beuller together as well. With Califiore and Hanna jumping around and "rockin' out," and Ratcliff nailing each accent and drum fill, the good chemistry between them was obvious. (www.myspace.com/iamireunion) —T. Ballard Lesemann

The Killers
Thurs. Jan. 29
House of Blues, Myrtle Beach

The energy of last week's Killers show was fantastic. No teeny boppers there. Lead singer Brandon Flowers worked the stage, transferring his zeal onto the crowd with the band following his lead through a great set list. They started with "Human" and ended with "When You Were Young." Combining the older tunes like "Brightside" with new ones like "Neon Tiger" and "Spaceman" kept everyone on their toes.

A wall of lights in the background swirled with patterns and shapes to the beat of the music, giving the impression of indoor fireworks. Flowers moved from vocals to keyboard to piano, while Dave Keuning switched to a different guitar for almost every song. Saxophone and violin even appeared on stage at one point. Fortunately, the performance's sound matched the high quality of the recordings. (www.thekillersmusic.com) —Laura Stokes

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