Reviewed on Sunday August 10 (photo by Ashley Mar)
How can you spot a Kasabian fan? You can’t – they’re hidden everywhere, from your tall corporate office towers to your Thursday night life drawing classes, quietly head-nodding right under your noses. If the lines to buy the garish 48:13 merch were anything to go by, you’ll be spotting a lot more fans out in the open this week.
It was hard to think of a better opening act for the night than The Delta Riggs. However much they are indebted to Kasabian as an influence, they more than made up for it by commanding the cavernous Hordern in style. Elliott Hammond swaggered across the stage with the best of them, and was so graceful with the mic stand I wondered if he’d practised manoeuvring it in his bedroom as a step up from the hairbrush. ‘America’ was a highlight as Alex Markwell took centre stage to tear through a solo. ‘Rah Rah Radio’ went off without a hitch as did new release ‘The Record’s Flawed’. I’m excited for the day they take over the Pavilion as headliners.
Kasabian entered to a roaring crowd and frenzied strobes. The crowd had high expectations, especially off the back of glowing reports from their headlining slot at this year’s Glastonbury. It’s safe to say they delivered. Within a few chords of ‘Bumblebee’ people were on shoulders, a mosh was going and Sergio Pizzorno’s mesmerising hair was flicking in time to the bass. Lead singer Tom Meighan didn’t need to do much to amp up the crowd, and a few hand flicks while in his bejewelled-sunnies-and-blazer combo had the desired rock star effect.
The setlist was a well-curated cross-section of old and new, with live trumpet giving tracks like ‘Shoot The Runner’ a dirty edge. Any fans who had been doubting Kasabian’s far more electro-heavy sound on 48:13 seemed to be converted as ‘Treat’ morphed into an extended dance session, with Pizzorno working the stage like a pro. “That’s how we do it,” he told us triumphantly. But it was the encore of ‘Vlad The Impaler’ that really sealed the deal, as everyone jumped higher than they ever had and yelled “Get loose, get loose” with an enthusiasm bordering on hysteria. The secret is out – Kasabian are a must-see, and shirt-buyers can wear 48:13 emblazoned across their chest with pride.