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Kaiser Chiefs At The El Rey Theatre: Review

Sydney Stockus |
February 26, 2014 | 9:41 a.m. PST


Kaiser Chiefs lead singer Ricky Wilson rocks the stage (Veronica Werhane/Neon Tommy)
Kaiser Chiefs lead singer Ricky Wilson rocks the stage (Veronica Werhane/Neon Tommy)
On Tuesday night, a near-capacity El Rey Theatre waited anxiously for the notoriously lively Kaiser Chiefs.

Oftentimes bands open with one of their hit songs to amp up the crowd, but this didn’t matter because as soon as Ricky Wilson, their lead singer, hit the stage, his energy was contagious.

The UK band from Leeds hopped on stage and rocked the house. They opened with “The Factory Gates” off their upcoming album “Education, Education, Education & War,” which was risky considering the song is unreleased. 

A band clearly influenced by New Wave and punk rock of the '80s, the Kaiser Chiefs played songs from all four of their studio albums. They played crowd favorites like “Ruby,” “Everyday I Love You Less And Less,” and “Na Na Na Na Naa,” as well as songs off their new album.

Their hit songs, of course, were well-received with mass audience participation, but their new songs like “Misery Company,” with a chorus consisting of straight maniacal laughing, and “Bows & Arrows,” a catchy tune that was easy to sing along to, all earned positive reactions.

In part, this is because Wilson has a captivating stage presence. On top of having a uniquely distinct voice, he is one of the most entertaining madman musicians out there. Smashing mic stands, climbing walls, tossing cowbells, and flinging tambourines, he has an ability to transport the audience into his crazy and wonderful world.

Nowhere was this highlighted more than during “The Angry Mob.” Prized as the most memorable song, Wilson jumped into the crowd, sat down in the middle, and asked everybody to do the same. As we all quietly chanted “We are the angry mob, We read the papers everyday, We like who like, We hate who we hate, But we're also easily swayed,” Wilson slowly began to rise and with him our voices followed. By the time he jumped back on stage, we were all screaming it.

This is all good news for the Kaiser Chiefs as they have been recently hit with some challenging times. In 2012, their founding member, drummer and main songwriter Nick Hodgson decided to pursue other opportunities, leaving many to think the Kaiser Chiefs would not survive.

However, between Wilson’s stage presence and his involvement as a coach on the UK version of “The Voice,” this three-time Brit Award-winning band is far from dying.

The Kaiser Chiefs will head into a short European tour starting in April after their new album is released on April 1 in the U.S.  For more details, check out their website.

Read more of NT's show reviews here.

Reach Contributor Sydney Stockus here.



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