It’s been a little over three years since the Leeds UK native Kaiser Chiefs toured through Vancouver, and as with then, they performed this past April 21st at the historic Commodore Ballroom. The evening’s show, part of the Education, Education, Education & War tour, was supported by the Portland US electropop band, Priory, and sponsored by Crabbie’s Ginger Beer.
In opening, Priory warmed up the room with a beautiful set of songs as the crowd filled in the floor in front of the stage. Their brand of electronic tinged music resonating heavier in a live venue in the way of so many bands when taking quality studio material to the stage. By the time lead singer, Brandon Rush, took a moment to thank The Kaiser Chiefs for bringing them on the tour, the crowd was primed.
As the photographers ventured into the security barricade to await Ricky and the band, there were only anticipating smiles facing the stage, and Kaiser Chiefs did not let them down, bringing as much energy to their new material as their older hits. In fact, one could say that the new material, such as Coming home from their most recent long player, sounded even larger on the stage with singer Ricky Wilson’s breathy vocals resonating off the walls and guitarist Andrew White’s notes filling the room.
Here is the set list for the evening:
** The Angry Mob
***** Ruffians on Parade
** Everything is Average Nowadays
* Everyday I Love You Less and Less
***** My Life
* Modern Way
* Na Na Na Naaa
*** Never Miss a Beat
**** Little Shocks
1 Falling Awake
* I Predict a Riot
Pinball Wizard (cover of The Who)
***** Coming Home
***** Misery Company
* Oh My God!
* Employment (2005)
** Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)
*** Off with Their Heads (2008)
**** The Future Is Medieval (2011)
***** Education, Education, Education & War (2014)
1 From an upcoming as yet unreleased and untitled album (2015?)
From the brashness of their earlier New Wave/Punk seared hits such as I Predict a Riot through to their most recent single, the meticulously polished Falling Awake, the Kaiser Chiefs have evolved their sound, refining from late ’70’s sensibilities to a more 80’s electronic vibe. The differences between the two made for both a brilliant and balanced evening of music as the band were afforded moments to breathe on the new material between their returns to their often frenetically paced earlier compositions.
Between singer Ricky Wilson’s crowd surfing/drum kit standing/crowd inciting/jumping up and down/ rock star moments, the band’s incredible fluid looseness (a great thing) while performing their songs, Synth/Keyboard player Nick “Peanut” Baines crowd rousing hand clapping (in time) to bring the crowd into the show at the beginning of Modern Way, AND a fantastic cover of Pinball Wizard to showcase the proficient accuracy of drummer Vijay Mistry and bassist Simon Rix, this evening certainly had more than it’s fair share of moments.
Simply put, this as a wonderfully energetic set from one of the UK’s Rock and Roll gems. However, sometimes the words and photos of a review site can’t relate the wonder of a show, and a quote from the singer often says it best. So, as Ricky said:
“If there is one thing I have learned from being a TV talent show judge, it’s that you don’t let the little things (like this) bugger you up. You push through and you treat each show like it’s the last show of your fucking life”
In the case of Kaiser Chiefs performing live, truer words were never spoken.
words by: Gerry | photos by Gerry