Having seen Kasabian live twice before, I already knew that this would be a great gig. However, even I, as huge a fan as I am, was not prepared for how amazing this gig would be.
Bursting onto the scene a decade ago with their eponymous debut album, Kasabian have since released four solid albums, each with their own quirks, from the widely acclaimed West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum to their latest electronic influenced offering 48:13. Despite criticism for simply being laddish, loud and uber-confident, it cannot be denied that Kasabian have established a fantastic live reputation. Frontman Tom Meighan’s cocky sounding assertion that their songs are ‘dirty, sexy, melodic, powerful’, I also find difficult to disagree with.
Once support act The Maccabees had left the stage, the 30 minute countdown started in true 48:13 fashion. No doubt due to their incredible set at Glastonbury in June, the excitement was tangible for this entire half hour. Kasabian bring in a varied crowd, from the football hooligans chanting and chucking beer, to a group of teenagers, no more than 14 years old, with their parents. Then, Serge and Tom appeared at opposite sides of the stage, with an acoustic rendition of what soon explodes into ‘bumblebee’. With ‘bumble’ appearing on the hot pink screen, the night kicked off with an insane start: everyone immediately jumping and singing in unison. This is how you start a show.
The expected crowd pleasers were electric – ‘Shoot the Runner’, ‘Underdog’ and ‘Where Did All The Love Go?’ all causing the crowd to keep the momentum set by the explosive ‘bumblebee’. However, the real gems were in the unexpected, such as ‘Cutt Off ’ from the band’s debut album. More importantly, it was the non-singles of 48:13 that stole the show.
It was electric, a riot, a workout and musical bliss. I loved it.
Tom took a back seat with Serge’s funk-enthused ‘clouds’, as well as the double bill of two of my favourites off the latest album, ‘bow’ and ‘s.p.s’, dedicated to Pizzorno’s father for his birthday. When ‘s.p.s.’ opened, the guy in front of me was the most excited I’d seen anyone all night. Personally, my excitement peaked with ‘treat’, which was every bit as good as live as I’d hoped it would be, especially with the inclusion of a prism light display. The reworking of Cameo’s ‘Word Up’ into Velociraptor!’s ‘Rewired’ was also effortlessly done.
Mosh pit fever took over with stomping hits ‘Empire’, ‘Club Foot’ and ‘Fire’, which Tom admitted he didn’t think he was ready for, the crowd erupting at this point.
Serge was on fine form tonight, foxtail and all, dancing around the stage and the crowd frequently chanting “Sergio”. Tom’s stage presence was much more muted and controlled, in comparison to the feistier Tom we saw in the West Ryder days. Even when the band left the stage, Serge remained alone for a few minutes, sitting on the edge of the stage as the crowd continued to chant ‘L.S.F.’ When he walked off he was visibly emotional, thanking the fans for their support over the years. It was a rare and touching moment of vulnerability.
The lyric “Feels like I’m lost in a moment,” from 2009’s ‘Underdog’, summed up the night for me. It was electric, a riot, a workout and musical bliss. I loved it.