Social media has changed the way we do almost every aspect of life. From the way we conceptualize food, to the way we shop for cleaning products, social media has an impact. Social media has had a major impact on the way artists construct live shows. What was once a more insular activity, playing to a room of people who may take a few pictures, has now exploded into a live show that is filmed, snapped, and broadcasted live from tiny cameras. Shows are being constructed in new ways, with new visual aides that capture both the audience and the screen. Alternative rock pop band Kaiser Chiefs is still trying to meld the new world of live shows with their old style. A blast of energy mixed with impressive visual displays crafted a genius show, but there are still some growing pains that may need a bit of working on. Here is what happened when Kaiser Chiefs took the Barclaycard Arena.
After a double set of great openers. Spring King and Howl, Kaiser Chiefs took the stage. Ripping down a malfunctioning curtain the band with pink blazers and tinsel background opened with upbeat pop rock “We Stay Together.” Immediately playing into the crowd, the bands energy swept out over the audience, everyone was energized and ready to go! The energy sustained, motivated by “Everything is Average Nowadays” and “Take My Temperature.” After these three opening songs, the back curtain dropped and stage morphed into a modern day rock set. What was a closed and intimate stage became a monstrous set of lights and imagery, the metamorphoses from old rock show into modern aesthetics. The modern stage was lit up with flashing pink lights during “Ruffians on Parade.” The rock song was a departure from the previous dance undertones; this tune was darker and a bit more angst. With drums leading the song structure the tune displayed the instrumental geniuses that make up Kaiser Chiefs.
Fan favorite “Little Shocks” followed next. The strong base rift intertwined with the emphatic dance moves of the band created an interesting spectacle. “Good Clean Fun” and “Ruby” brought back the dance tunes. As the giant screens behind the band flashed neon lights and 80s comic advertisement, the mid tempo rock songs pumped up the audience. In between these songs the band members chatted with fans, playing off their energy.
“Modern Way” was brought through the speakers after an introduction to band member Peanut. The up-tempo song has a video game flavor to it, a mixture of rock that also has pop nods to the 80s. Reverberating off the walls, the enormity of this song parallels the extensive vocal range that is displayed. This rock mixed with commercialism continued as the band played favorites “Parachute,” “Meanwhile Up in Heaven,” “Press Rewind,” and “Never Miss A Beat.” Then the mood shifted and the stage turned. From a small, enclosed stage to a cast stage of multicolored screens to a stage bathed in red. The red stage mirrored a musical transition into dark rock songs. “The Angry Mob,” a quick paced rock song, that’s darkness is conveyed through minor chord progressions, quickly had the fans and band alike screaming that they are the angry mob. In prolonged extension this song weaved and undulated for almost ten minutes. “You Can Have It All” with its repeating oh’s and la’s continued this strong rock feel and visuals.
The rock only lasted for a few songs, and with “Hole In My Soul” and “Coming Home” the stage went back its pop graphics and light feel. The music once again became danced infused and the angry mob from before becoming gleeful dancing fools. The encore included “Still Waiting,” “If You Will Have Me,” and finally “Oh My God.”
Kaiser Chiefs put on an electric and eclectic show. While it still seems that some of the staging is trying to catch up to the new forms of production, it was a bit disjointed and static at times, the band themselves put on a show that only comes through experience and time. The unparalleled ability of Kaiser Chiefs to connect with the audience, the band easily displayed the most fan interaction I have ever witnessed, compiled with the musical excitement of old and new songs created a very pleasing show.
Review: Kylie McCormick
Photographs: Adriana Vasile