Anticipation and excitement hung thick in the air prior to Leeds five-piece Kaiser Chiefs taking to the stage. The band, who dismiss the indie labels that have been placed on them in the past, have been around the block a few times and are now touring their latest album ‘Stay Together’ in UK arenas.
Tonight we find them at the Brighton Centre and the show gets off to a heady start as the curtain drops to reveal the quartet tightly packed together on a podium. With a sparkling ribbon backdrop, lone disco ball and helium balloons, the set up serves as a nostalgic-filled trip to their earlier shows in the 00’s.
A few songs into their hit-after-hit set and the band, assisted by their roadies, are pushed back onto an even better and bigger backdrop. A massive neon K and C remain lit constantly throughout the set that spans nearly two hours long.
Energetic frontman, Ricky Wilson gives 100% adrenaline from the offset and seems to be a fan of audience participation from the amount of chatter in between songs. It wouldn’t be a Kaiser Chiefs gig if Wilson doesn’t jump into the crowd and go on a few adventures and he certainly did that this time round.
Somewhere around the half-way mark, Wilson leaps off the stage and around the side of the crowd into the middle of the venue. All eyes (and camera lenses) on him, the singer performs a few numbers and even takes a sip of a passing fans beer in the process.
A large part of tonight’s set list is made up of songs from their recent album ‘Stay Together’. The songs might not be as ballsy as the band’s other hits, think ‘I Predict A Riot’ and ‘The Angry Mob’ which are both played to a rapturous response from the crowd, but they do demonstrate the fact that Kaiser Chiefs aren’t afraid to reinvent themselves to stay current.
Keyboardist Peanut’s equipment failed him at one point in the show but the band didn’t let that stop them. Instead, they launched into older track ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ much to the delight of the eagerly-awaiting crowd.
The highlight of the night was by far the mass sing-along to Kaiser Chiefs’ biggest hit ‘Ruby’. As Wilson announced the track, the crowd let out an almighty roar, to which Wilson responded with “Oh, do you know this one?”. They certainly did – so much so that Wilson gave up singing mid-way through the song and instead took to climbing part of the stage’s scaffolding.
Shortly before taking a final bow, Kaiser Chiefs returned for an encore and demonstrated exactly why it is they’ve lasted so long. The encore saw them perform a fired-up rendition of ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ by the Buzzcocks before leaving fans with the obligatory banger ‘Oh My God’. What a night; all hail the Chiefs!
Photo credit: Brighton’s Finest