Kasabian live at the Doncaster Dome – review by Rob Johnson
As with all working-class bands with a working-class audience, Kasabian are constantly sneered at by the high brow music press, dismissed as singalong merchants for drunken football fans. And while there is an element of truth to that, they are also survivors. The acrimonious departure of former lead singer Tom Meighan left a huge question mark over the band’s immediate future. Well, if this gig is anything to go by, those questions can be resoundingly laid to rest…
The Leicester band take to the stage against the backdrop of an incredible lightshow, and they’ve even brought a couple of big screens with them. In a world in which gig tickets are becoming more and more expensive, it’s refreshing to see a band actually giving an audience their money’s worth.
Any doubts that former lead guitarist and current frontman Serge Pizzorno might not cut it as a lead singer are dispelled within thirty seconds of opening track ‘Rocket Fuel’. The band sound incredible, Serge bounds around the stage like he a born rock ‘n’ roll star, this band are going nowhere. And then the introduction to ‘Club Foot’ kicks in and that’s it. The venue goes insane. Pints pots are held aloft. Shirts are swung above heads. There still isn’t a band on the scene that can match Kasabian for energy when they’re playing like this. Truly a sight to behold.
The familiar opening riff of ‘Underdog’ somehow takes it up a notch before Serge informs the crowd that he bought his beloved dog in Doncaster, so this is basically a hometown gig – one of many asides and passionate diatribes that the charismatic frontman shares with his adoring audience throughout the set. Next up, fan favourite ‘You’re in Love with a Psycho’ segues nicely into Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’, the crowd lapping up every moment.
The Doncaster Dome is a curious venue, it’s basically a sports hall, and so it is fitting for the room to turn into a shaking, steamy sweatbox as the chorus to ‘Shoot the Runner’ threatens to bring the walls crumbling down before new song ALYGATYR demonstrates that the band can still write anthems even in this new incarnation.
Acoustic guitars are busted out for ethereal versions of early singles ‘Processed Beats’ and ‘Cutt Off’ before a mammoth rendition of ‘treat’ brings the house down. Kasabian are always a band that have embraced their electronic roots, and ‘treat’ is a testament to their ability to craft an indie rock song that still has the ability to get the dancefloor shaking. Later, a killer closing section for the first part of the set featuring an unstoppable rendition of ‘Empire’ and a well-received run through of ‘Vlad the Impaler’ sees the band momentarily leave the stage to give fans at the front a chance to catch their breath and wring out their t-shirts.
Returning to the stage still full of energy, Serge and his band kick off with ‘Bless This Acid House’ before a truly special and extended version of perennial live favourite ‘L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)’ gives way to the customary set closer ‘Fire’. During this last song, it is clear that this show means as much to the band as it does to the audience. This is a whole room working in symbiosis. As the lights come on, Serge sits down at the front of the stage and declares that he just wants to take it all in for a moment. A truly special evening.