6 December 2007

Kaiser Chiefs at Sheffield Arena

As part of my ongoing mission to watch more live music, we went to Sheffield Arena on Monday night to watch Kaiser Chiefs.

Kaiser Chiefs

I bought the tickets back in June and have been looking forward to this gig for about five months. I’m not really a big fan of arena gigs though. I prefer smaller venues where you can see what facial expressions the band members are making. It takes an excellent band to put on a good show and make a massive arena audience feel like they’re part of the experience instead of just watching tiny dots in the distance. Luckily for us, Kaiser Chiefs are an excellent band!

Support came from California’s The Little Ones, who weren’t bad but didn’t make me want to buy – or even steal – their music, and New York’s topless We Are Scientists who, despite them being topless, I quite liked these dudes and may even purchase their new album.

The Chiefs played all the best songs (i.e. nearly all of them) from their two albums, Employment and Yours Truly, Angry Mob, along with some brilliant new songs. Frontman Ricky Wilson certainly knows how to get the audience going too. From what I’d seen of them on the TV, I knew he’d be full of energy and running around the stage. I didn’t expect him to suddenly pop-up in the middle of the arena though!

The sound was excellent. The screens – five smaller vertical screens above the stage instead of the two usual big screens on each side, as you can see in my photos – were a bit different but still effective, giving us a chance to watch each member of the band more closely. And the lights were plentiful... that is until some idiot lobbed a pint of beer over the lighting desk just before the encore! Ricky gave the audience the choice of them doing an encore without any lights (although the blinders were still working) or going home. Needless to say, they continued with the encore and the lights gradually came back on.

Personal highlights for me: Everyday I Love You Less And Less, I Predict A Riot, Oh My God and the more recent Ruby (all massive anthems), Modern Way (I love that cowbell), Na Na Na Na Naa and Heat Dies Down (great sing-a-long songs), Saturday Night (purely for the line, “Cos we are birds of feather and you can be the fat one!”), The Angry Mob (wonderful angry undertones), Everything Is Average Nowadays (the guitar playing the same melody as the vocals during the verses is cool), Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning) (always nice to have a ballad in the set), Thank You Very Much (I love the subtle guitar and keyboard melodies playing underneath the bridge/chorus on this), Retirement (the way they kept varying the rhythm between each verse and chorus was pure musical brilliance), Born To Be A Dancer (spooky piano melodies are always good), Highroyds (just brilliant) and I Can Do It Without You (just cos it’s a damn good tune).

Erm, I think that’s pretty much most of the show then!

Not too bad for an arena gig really...

Still to come: CSS (Dec ’07), Scouting for Girls (Apr ’08) and The Pigeon Detectives (May ’08) – again – but this time at the brand new Carling Academy Sheffield, previously known as The New Roxy Disco, which will hopefully open its doors in April 2008!

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Nice writeup, I was also there, great gig