Kaiser Chiefs predict (and get) a riot in Atlanta

Live review: Kaiser Chiefs with Walk the Moon and Transfer at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, 3/10/12

Ricky Wilson, the bold and brassy lead singer of Leeds natives Kaiser Chiefs, seemed a tad pissed as the show kicked off in Atlanta. Maybe this was because the Tabernacle did not sell out. After all, the band had been hailed as the next Jam when they released their debut Employment in 2005. Maybe it’s because Wilson and the boys really want to exude that punk rock attitude, so pissed is how to do that.

Whatever the reason, they cheered up themselves and warmed up the crowd quickly. The energy level was locked on 11 the entire evening. Touring in support of the new release Start the Revolution Without Me (B-Unique), the band performed songs from all four albums, but relied on the brilliant Employment for much of the evening. The show kicked off with the wicked “Everyday I Love You Less And Less,” and Wilson was all over the stage (and off it, some). With a history of injuries from jumping off the stage, he surely was being careful. Like when he climbed the rope ladder into the balcony and walked through the shocked crowd while singing his song and prodding those jammed on the floor to scream.

Wilson and the band were very chatty between songs and showed off that dry English sense of humor. “Next time we return to Atlanta,” Wilson yelled, “be sure to bring your friends.” Kaiser Chiefs gave it 110% to the adoring fans, who made it sound like a sold out Tabernacle. It was a fantastically supercharged concert and no one left wanting more. Except they could have played more. That’s all. One of their most popular tunes, “I Predict A Riot” brought down the house with its return-to-mod feel and a tip of the hat to the Jam. Paul Weller must be proud.

For the final song, the group played their first single from 2004, “Oh My God.” Wilson jumped off the stage and singled out one young lady, singing, “Oh my God I can’t believe it / I never been this far away from home” as if he was simultaneously living the moment and wanting to flee.

It was a quick one, with a total of 17 rapid fire songs that sounded flawless. Though the band has yet to repeat the success it had with the first album, they’ve still got the hunger and skill to keep going for quite a while.

With Wilson, the band is comprised of Andrew White (guitar), Simon Rix (bass), Nick Baines (keys) and Nick Hodgson (drums). The band was tight and loud and missed not a beat. Hodgson on drums was reminiscent of Keith Moon or Brad Elvis in appearance, clothing and drumming style. Which means he killed it. As the show ended, the very British Hodgson exclaimed, “You make me proud to be an American. All of you.”

San Diego’s Transfer opened the evening with their fresh, progressive rock sounds. This band is clearly ready to move to the next level. All they need is a little more exposure. That will be gained with this tour and a few important stops, including SXSW.

Cincinnati’s Walk the Moon delivered some nice power pop as a segue to Kaiser Chiefs. Their huge hit from last summer, “Anna Sun,” paved the way for the band to get some massive exposure around the world. You may remember the exciteable and overly happy video that went viral in a very short time. Their unsigned career got a jolt of caffeine with that single as well as calls from agents and labels.

The Anna Sun EP is out now and can be downloaded directly from their site. They are scheduled to play SXSW, Sasquatch and NYC’s Governor’s Ball as well as a host of other events and TV shows.

Set List:

Everyday I Love You Less And Less, Never Miss A Beat, Little Shocks, Everything Is Average Nowadays, Good Days Bad Days, Modern Way, Listen To Your Head, Ruby, The Angry Mob, Na Na Na Na Naa, Starts With Nothing, I Predict A Riot, Kinda Girl You Are, Take My Temperature, On The Run.

Encore:

Love’s Not A Competetion (But I’m Winning), Oh My God.

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