Song 238: The Killers, “When You Were Young” (2006)

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The best karaoke performance I’ve ever seen happened at Do Re Mi in Brighton. I was at a friend’s birthday party, and most of us had already tackled our humorous choices. I had done a version of “Bust a Move” that I expected to be hilarious but ended up just being exhausting. By the time a guy came up to sing “When You Were Young,” most attendees were milling around, drinking the contraband booze, and eating pretzels.

I felt like I was the only person watching him. He had one leg positioned in front and the other behind, like he was about to start a race. Just like the Killers’ Brandon Flowers, he started “When You Were Young” a little shakily, and by the first chorus, he sounded like he was about to show the world what he could do. What made it all work was his complete commitment to the performance. His complete sincerity deterred any impressions of posturing or showing off. He was glorious.

Whenever I hear this song, I don’t think of the Killers. I think of that guy doing amazing things in a room full of people not paying attention. I think about how we could all learn something from that guy.

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