Open Up My Eager Eyes: An Ode to Mr. Brightside and Teen Angst


Johanna Zenn

Set the scene: you‰’re at a high school party, feeling much cooler in the moment than you ever will looking back on it, when you look over and see someone you kind-of sort-of have a crush on flirting with someone else. Catastrophe. Pandemonium. Later when you go home, you put in your headphones and look for the only relief that one can get in this situation. Hearing Brandon Flowers yell existentially over some bombastic instrumentals finally gives you the only content feeling of the night.

Okay, a little dramatic, but then again, there‰’s something comforting about finding the perfect background music to whatever hormonal-related breakdown you‰’re having that day. So, what exactly is it about 2004 powerhouse hit, Mr. Brightside? There must be an undoubtedly magical quality about a song that hasn‰’t left the UK charts since the year it came out. So, let‰’s examine.

The power of nostalgia is so real. While myself and others have no memories of when the album Hot Fuss first came out considering we were like 5 years old, I do fondly remember the complete shake-up I felt when my older brother first played it for me a few years later. I also fondly remember driving around with my best friends blasting it, feeling very 16 and very Perks of Being a Wallflower. Looking around whenever Mr. Brightside comes on anywhere, seeing other people unabashedly singing along, it‰’s easy to recognize that they have dear memories with this song too. While everyone has different stories associated with Mr. Brightside, they all have good vibes and/or awkward teenage moments enveloped within them.The Killers‰’ lead singer Brandon Flowers seems to understand this feeling, saying once in an interview “what strikes me is how powerful that song still is….there‰’s just something about it. It‰’s a moment.‰Û

It‰’s also just a really, really good song. It captures a feeling and dials it up to 1000. What else makes you want to stand at the top of a mountain and scream “but it‰’s just the price I pay/destiny is calling me.‰” Personally, I haven‰’t found a song that makes me feel exactly the way this one does, and I doubt that I will anytime soon. While I won‰’t be there to see the Killers perform at The Anthem on January 10th, I know that when they play Mr. Brightside, thousands of people are going to live in their memories for 3 minutes and 43 seconds, and that it‰’ll be totally rad.