February 23, 2012
Review by Paul Riddell
Photos by Paul Riddell
You have just gotta love the Kaiser Chiefs. You really never know what's in store once singer Ricky Wilson gets wired up and is bouncing around the stage. To say his adrenaline rush on stage spills over into the crowd is an understatement. Once he got hopping - literally - the near-capacity crowd at the Hammersmith Odeon followed his lead. It would stay that way throughout the night.
The Hammersmith was the last stop on the Kaiser Chiefs U.K. tour before they head across the Atlantic next month for an extended tour of North America. Interestingly enough, the lads have decided to repackage their June 2011 recording, The Future is Medieval, under a different name in 2012, Start the Revolution Without Me, for the American market. The renamed disc will be accompanied by the release of two new songs heard this evening, "On the Run" and "Listen to Your Heart." Both were delightfully upbeat, high octane tunes. If they perform anything like they did at the Hammersmith, fans in the U.S. are in for quite a night of high octane fun.
Fun is exactly what the Kaiser Chiefs are all about, especially Wilson. His unpredictable behavior, especially in a small setting, keeps the crowds wondering if he's going to pull a high flying Liam Gallagher stunt with his microphone, or just be himself. So far, that's included ordering drinks from a bar while performing, drinking a fan's beer, jumping on top of speakers, or pretty much anything he pleases to do. All the while, he doesn't skip a beat in the music.
Tonight's set was heavy on the band's first two albums, Employment and Yours Truly, Angry Mob. The 90-minute set list has everything a fan would ever want from this band. They mixed in the old with the new brilliantly, keeping the audience engaged throughout. Fan favorite "Every Day I Love You Less and Less" kicked off the evening's festivities. The Kaiser Chiefs classic songs like "Never Miss a Beat," "Everything is Average Nowadays," "Modern Way," and the crowd pleasing "I Predict a Riot" were expertly placed in the set so as not to overshadow new songs, "Starts With Nothing" and "Little Shocks." Of course no Kaiser Chief concert would be complete without their signature hit, "Ruby."
One of the interesting things about the Kaiser Chiefs when you're watching them perform is this. You tend to forget just how talented this band really is. As you find yourself singing, or silently bobbing your head to the music, you realized this band has created some truly great music over the years. Another thing I greatly appreciate about this band is this. The music they play on stage sounds like the songs you hear on radio, on your computer, head set, or whatever electronic device you decide to employ. The thing is, the music is spot on, which makes it that much more enjoyable to watch. There's no drum solos by Nick Hodgson. Guitarist Andrew White doesn't feel the need to show off his prowess on his instrument with agonizing solos to extend a song. The only real bonus the Kaiser Chiefs offer a crowd are the always entertaining, always unpredictable antics of Ricky Wilson.
Watch out America, the Kaiser Chiefs are definitely coming for you!