WORDS / PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADAM HARRISON
Combine a long weekend Sunday with a Kaiser Chiefs’ concert and well, I predict a riot! The post-punk, new wave, anthem rock band from Leeds, England, just wrapped up the final North American leg of their tour in Toronto on Sunday in support of their fifth studio album, Education, Education, Education & War. Front man Ricky Wilson and his four merry men were in full form and energy to the delight of a not-so angry mob at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.
The Brit-rock five piece opened their 75-minute set with “The Angry Mob” anthem. From the start Wilson was jumping, screaming and marching around like a mad man, getting everyone involved early and chanting along to the extended bridge “We are the angry mob, we read the papers every day, we like who we like, we hate who we hate, but we’re all so easily swayed.” It’s songs like this that define the Kaiser Chiefs as a band. The powerful and memorable choruses that you just can’t help sing, nay shout, along to.
The latest album, Education, Education, Education & War, was a throw back to the original Kaiser Chiefs of the Employment and Angry Mob era, dating back about eight to ten years, with more powerful songs with an anti-preachy nature. The album seems to have rejuvenated the band in a way, despite the departure of their original drummer Nick Hodgson, now replaced by Vijay Mistry. Not only were we treated to a few of the tracks from Education, but we were also introduced to another new song “Falling Awake” that will be featured on their next album.
Along with the pure catchiness of every song, it’s Wilson’s performance that keeps you engrossed in the show. His vigor as he continuously jumps and struts around (while singing!) is simply unmatched. His wit & charm will have you smiling the entire night as he banters with the audience and band mates alike. He even had keyboardist, Nick Baines (a.k.a. Peanut), doing star jumps during “Modern Way.”
As the main set came to a close, the Chiefs were all guns blazing for their final four songs. Saving what are debatably their two most popular anthems, “Ruby” and “I Predict a Riot” for this moment. Followed by a spot on cover of The Who’s “Pinball Wizard” and “Coming Home,” their expressive ballad from Education.
The power set left everyone aroused for an encore. The Kaiser Chiefs returned with “Misery Company,” the bizarre, but awesome, chuckle-with-me tune from Education. The night ended with one final sing-a-long in the form of a jammed out version of the Chief’s debut anthem, “Oh My God,” which had all 1,200 people singing “Oh my God, I can’t believe it, I’ve never been this far away from home…” all the way home.