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Sarah McLachlan, the freakin’ Killers … Oh, and Obama, too

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The Killers (minus Ronnie Vannucci) perform before a campaign rally for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday at Aria.
Photo: Sam Morris

To say the star power was in full force at Thursday night's Obama/Reid event at CityCenter is understating the case considerably. There had been whispers leading up to the event that some surprises were in store, but no one seemed to have details.

Sarah McLachlan performs before a campaign rally for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday at Aria.

Sarah McLachlan performs before a campaign rally for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday at Aria.

That the Democrats managed to keep a secret was abundantly apparent when a piano was wheeled out on stage at about 5:45 p.m., and Sarah McLachlan came out and began playing the first of four songs, finishing with a nice riff on "Angel."

A massive crowd in the Aria ballroom cheered and screamed for more, and they got their wish — the almost matter-of-fact appearance by the Killers' Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer (Ronnie Vannucci was absent), who sang an acoustic version of "Read My Mind," accompanied by a small string ensemble, before launching into a warm, folky version of "Home Means Nevada."

Yeah, it brought the house down. And to bring out Sen. Harry Reid, the man all this craziness was for, the trio launched into John Mellencamp's "Small Town." A smiling, appreciative Reid hugged the group members and seemed to be a legitimate fan.

President Barack Obama points into the crowd after campaign rally for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday at Aria.

President Barack Obama points into the crowd after campaign rally for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday at Aria.

"I was nervous, because the Killers came to my Nevada office," Reid said, adding he asked them if they knew the song "Home Means Nevada": "They sang it right there in my office."

"My wife loves the Killers," Reid added, proceeding to list her favorite tunes: "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," "When We Were Young" (it's actually "When YOU Were Young," but then again, I was pretty amazed Reid followed the group in the first place) and "I think it's 'Human.'" (You got it right, Harry.)

Obama wasted no time thanking the musical acts for their participation in the evening's event, adding, "Are you disappointed I'm not singing tonight?" Uh, that would be a no.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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