Written By Nathan Holt
Photo By Nathan Holt

The English rock band Kasabian have had quite a successful career with four albums under their belts, a fairly busy touring schedule and the ability to sell out arenas to small venues. After having to cancel the last tour they planned to do in the United States back in 2009, they have finally returned stateside and made one of the stops at the Vic Theatre in Chicago, Illinois which was packed to the brim with eager fans.

The opening band Hacienda got the audience warmed up with a half hour set that included songs like “Don’t Turn Out The Lights,” “Doomsday,” “Savage” and “Don’t Keep Me Waiting.” Their sound is an interesting one that can best be described as country tinged rock n roll that can change to songs that sound something like The Doors. While not moving too much from their spots, they thanked fans for coming out early, even if it was a Monday night.

As the lights dimmed, one of Kasabian’s logos dropped down from the ceiling for the band’s backdrop. With a quick repeating synthesizer playing while Kasabian took the stage, the band kicked off their set with “Days Are Forgotten.” From the first note until the end of the show, the crowd never seemed to stand still, moving around to the beat. The setlist included songs from all four of their albums while spreading the songs around nicely between releases. Sound wise, they sounded way better than their recordings, adding energy to the songs live. The lighting varied between songs, but it was either flashy and bright or still and colorful. The venue’s mediocre lighting wasn’t really used thanks to the numerous LED lights brought in by the band.

After the popular “Shoot the Runner,” they band continued on with “Velociraptor!,” “Underdog,” “Where Did All the Love Go?” and “I.D.” Slowing down the pace with “Thick As Thieves,” the band also threw in a snippet of The Door’s “People Are Strange” at the end of the song, followed right afterwards with “Black Whistler.” The energy kicked back in with the well known song “Club Foot,” with the next song “Re-Wired,” off their newest album having a small snippet of Cameo’s “Word Up!”.

While the band didn’t say too much to the crowd, the show’s intensity made up for it, with lead singer Tom Meighan and guitarist Sergio Pizzorno yelling out “Chicago!” from time to time, seeming to kick start the crowd’s energy. Besides a few smiles, looks and pats between members, it was down to the business of making music. With drummer Ian Matthews, longtime bassist Chris Edwards, guitarist Jay Mehler and Ben Kealey on the keyboards performing live, they all contribute in their own way to the unique sound that Kasabian is known for. After the songs “Empire,” “Goodbye Kiss,” “Stuntman” and “L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever),” the crowd continued to sing the last part of the song as the band left the stage.

As the crowd yelled for more, lights began to flash as the band came back on stage for an encore, starting with the bass heavy song “Switchblade Smiles” off of Velociraptor. At this point, not one band member seemed to be standing still along with the crowd that bounced around to the beat. During the next song “Vlad the Impaler” the band addressed the crowd halfway through the song: “Ok, you all know what you’ve got to do now. You all have to jump! I can still see people standing still. You ready? Ok Chicago: one, two, three, go!” With that simple command, the entire building exploded with jumping people.

Unfortunately, all good shows have to come to an end and after thanking the crowd for coming out and supporting them and the opening band Hacienda, the band ended the night with “Fire.” As a clap began to echo around the venue, the tempo grew to such a climatic ending that made Tom Meighan ask the crowd: “Oh yeah. One more time ok, for old times’ sake?” The crowd eagerly obliged and sang the last verse again.

After such a spectacular show, the only thing that was on people’s minds is the hope that Kasabian will return to tour the United States again in the near future.

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