Is it still cool to be a Kasabian fan? Or are they too ‘mainstream’ by now and therefore automatically considered extremely uncool? Not that I’d really care about things like that – I have great memories from their last tours, so it goes without saying that I bought tickets for this tour again. And I like their new album For Crying Out Loud. Admittedly, it lacks the weirdness of the first albums that combined all kinds of sounds and influences and defined Kasabians unique style, but at least it neither goes down the experimantal electronic route of its predecessor 48:13. It is an album of solid, 60’s inspired britrock songs and still trademark Kasabian.
Berlin on Halloween night, premium front row spots, anticipation high. Finally, Kasabian entered the stage and kicked it off with Ill Ray, the opening track of For Crying Out Loud. Even though it was followed by a battery of hits from the previous albums (Bumblebee, Eez-eh, Shoot The Runner, Underdog…), the show felt a bit restrained in the beginning. The Kasabian boys have clearly grown up, have become a bit more mature and more professional in their behavior and instead got rid of that ‘sympathetic asshole’ attitude they (or at least singer Tom Meighan and his counterpart, guitarist Sergio Pizzorno) used to present on stage. The only slightly unusual thing about them was that discreet make-up they wore around their eyes for Halloween…
Nevertheless, the band – being the four official band members plus three additional musicians for guitar, keys, percussion and trumpet – sounded flawless, and the crowd was totally into it, everybody danced and jumped and sang along. Over the course of the show, you could see how this reflected on the band: they became more active and more energetic; suddenly they actually wanted to give their best and to put on a good show! At the latest when Sergio showed off his dancing skills on Treat, the weirdness factor was back too, and the evening ended up being a huge party!
Speaking about party – on the visual side, the show was outstanding! Even more than on their last tour, it’s clear to see that Kasabian got used to playing the really big stages in their homeland a long time ago already (while here in Germany, the venues were around 3000-4000 in capacity this time round). In addition to the backdrop with fluorescent tear drops (like the ones on the album cover), there were shitloads of flashing lights of all kinds and colours, but they never felt random or over the top but just perfectly in accordance with the music. Whoever was in charge of the light show – they certainly know how to do their job, holy shit!! Also, in front of all this, the musicians looked super cool in their blinding white outfits.
All in all – the infectious songs (that could just have used a bit more power and bass in the mix, especially on songs like Club Foot), the great performance of the band and the stirring lights – the show was rock concert and rave party at the same time, and as I said before – the crowd went mental. No surprise, if you end a gig with Vlad The Impaler and Fire, you can be sure you’ll make even the last ass in the venue shake, and everybody will go home convinced that no spooky Halloween party on earth could have been a better way to celebrate this night.
The next day started with me trying hard not to fall asleep at the office for a few hours and was then, for my friend and me, a rollercoaster of “we’ll surely be at the front again” (when we left the house at a reasonable time) to “we certainly won’t make front row” (when we got stuck in traffic for one and a half hours) to “we might make front row after all” (when we found a surprisingly low number of people at the venue less than an hour before doors) to “well, that’s it.” (when the security guy refused to open the door to the hall on our side of the venue while everybody walked in at the other side…). In the end, we did get front row spots, but faaar at the side, and the mood there proved to be a bit lame – hello to the couple next to me, with the girl who looked like she hated everything about the concert, and the boy who might have enjoyed himself if the girl hadn’t given him angry side eyes whenever he showed the slightest sign of amusement. My advice, young man: Dump that girl, she’s not good for you. 😉 (Or at least don’t bring her to concerts again…)
So the party happened without us today (or rather, we had our own little party in our corner), but the performance was very similar to the night before, including the whole aspect of starting tamed but then getting more and more into it. Also, it was nice to see the show from a different perspective, and the sound was even better than in Berlin, so in the end – all was well! 🙂