Gig Review: Kasabian – o2 Academy Birmingham

It’s been 13 years since Kasabian released their debut album. Four more records have quickly followed suit, with the band earning themselves a reputation for rambunctious, boisterous live performances. In 2014, they headlined Glastonbury, claimed two accolades at the Q Awards for Best Live Act and Best Act in the World, and won Best British Band at the NME Awards in 2015.

Formed in Leicester in 1997, the 5 piece took to the stage at Birmingham’s o2 Academy on Thursday (April 13th) for a 90 minute set to showcase new tracks and remind people why the band are revered around the world. 

The Brit Award winners stated that they would play intimate gigs at select venues across the UK. News of the tour followed the announcement of their highly anticipated album For Crying Out Loud. Due to be released on April 28, fans had to preorder a copy of the album in order to receive a code that still didn’t guarantee a ticket to one of the gigs. The O2 Academy filled up quickly before Kasabian kicked off their 90-minute set – the bank holiday was about to begin and starting it with Kasabian wasn’t too shabby.

Opening the set with new single You’re in Love With a Psycho, fans erupted into pandemonium. The sold-out audience was already in the palm of their hands. Bumblebee and Underdog followed swiftly after, leaving the crowd with no chance of any rest bite.

Kasabian’s mixture of assertive guitar melodies and electronic grooves is frankly, irresistible. Their early big hit, Club Foot, sparked bedlam as the recognisable intro kicked in. As individual musicians, the band’s members were unrelenting and impressive, with stomping drums and trumpets.

Kasabian have started to introduce a portion of Daft Punk’s Around The World into the intro of Eez-eh. The seamless continuation from one track into another transforms the evening into something reminiscent of a 90 trance scene. Shoot The Runner is irresistibly nonchalant and slick; allowing for a communal sing-along.

Treat was undoubtedly the highlight of the night. The academy grooved in unison until a bright spotlight beamed upwards onto the balcony. In which Sergio Pizzorno appeared and continued to complete the remaining 15 seconds of the song.

Empire, Stevie, L.S.F, and was received gleefully by the crowd. Fans knew this was a momentous occasion. With Kasabian highly unlikely to feature in a 3,000 capacity venue again, the crowd made sure to enjoy every single minute of the evening.

Main set closer LSF features maximum “la-la-la!” crowd intercommunication, which continues long after the band has left the stage.

New songs including Bless This Acid House and Comeback Kid kept the audience on their toes. Although the tracks didn’t quite receive the usual crowd response, there are many different areas of the tracks which have pleasing qualities.

Backed by a pulsating beat and some clever guitar work from Pizzorno, Vlad the Impaler received a raucous reception. Kasabian have managed to combine indie-rock and dance to great effect, as demonstrated by the impressive instrumental version accompanying of the track.

Tom announced that the band had a final song to play. Smirking as the familiar opener of Fire rolled in. The o2 Academy exploded with rock n roll-fuelled reckless relinquish.

Thursday’s Birmingham gig was without a doubt a special one and one that probably won’t ever happen again. Something that all who were present, will cherish for a very long time.

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Pre-order Kasabian’s new album For Crying Out Loud.

Setlist:

  1. You’re in Love With a Psycho
  2. Bumblebeee
  3. Underdog
  4. Shoot the Runner
  5. Eez-Eh
  6. Club Foot
  7. La Fée Verte
  8. Re‐Wired
  9. Bless This Acid House
  10. Treat
  11. Empire
  12. Stevie
  13. L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)
  14. Comeback Kid
  15. Vlad the Impaler
  16. Fire

Words by Matthew Thomas

Kasabian seen on 13-04-17.

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