For one night in September, NYC became LEIC, as Kasabian completely took over New York’s Terminal 5.
They may have been playing almost three and a half thousand miles from home, but it won’t have felt like it. There was a massive British presence at the gig, there were fans bearing Leicester City shirts, Leicester City scarves and England Flags scattered across the venue, and it made this feel like the musical equivalent to a football away day.
It’s fair to say that British indie rock isn’t really a big deal in America. Terminal 5 is a far cry from the huge arena’s and major festival’s that Kasabian are used to headlining in the UK, but, this provided a rare opportunity to see one of the country’s best live bands in an up close and intimate setting. The compression of the ever-present energy and excitement we’ve come to expect from their shows into a small venue made their act become somehow even more explosive.
Kent-based Punk rockers Slaves also played a typically intense half-hour support slot, playing a healthy mix of their best-known tracks, as well as rarities from their debut record “Sugar Coated Bitter Truth”. With the exception of a handful of fans towards the front of the crowd, many of the locals simply didn’t get the appeal of their raucous, in your face style, but that didn’t prevent them from producing a great support set.
They kicked off their set with “Sockets”, with “The Hunter” and “Take Control” also featuring. The duo also took time to compare New York’s busy hustle and bustle culture to London before playing “Cheer Up London”, and Isaac continued his campaign against Hi-Hat’s with “F*** the Hi-Hat”. The set closed with “Beauty Quest”, and although popular tracks “Hey” and “Spit it Out” were absent from the set, they still provided an exciting performance to wet the appetite for the main event.
Kasabian picked up where Slaves left off, opening their set with a string of lively songs to get the adrenaline pumping early on. The set started with the opening tracks from their previous two albums; “Ill Ray (The King)”, a quick paced, Fast Fuse-esque sounding tune, and “Bumblebeee”, a more aggressive, heavier sounding headbanger. They stuck with “48:13” for the next song “Eez-Eh”, which merged into a stylish cover of Daft Punk’s “Around the World” for the outro. They then moved on to play some the classic anthems from their back catalogue with “Underdog” and “Shoot The Runner”.
Songs from the album they released earlier this year “For Crying Out Loud” featured heavily, although not excessively. “Are there any Psycho’s in here tonight?” said frontman Tom Meighan, introducing the lead single from the album: “You’re in Love With a Psycho”. Later in the set, “Bless This Acid House” and “Comeback Kid” also featured.
As at most Kasabian shows, there was a great atmosphere at this gig. Even during “ID”, one of Kasabian’s slower, more synthy sounding tracks from their first album, the fans which had managed to get themselves towards the front were jumping about and starting up mosh pits. It was all really good-natured as well, people helped each other off the floor if anyone fell over, they’d stop to help look for anything anyone lost and were just generally infectiously friendly. It was the kind of gig where you’d find yourself in a circle of complete strangers headbanging and singing your heart out with them. After all, our parents may teach us not to talk to strangers, but nobody ever said anything about singing with them.
One of the bands more underrated songs “Empire” remained in the set, an inclusion that clearly was much to the appreciation of the fans. Multiple songs from 48:13 remained in the set also, including “Stevie” and “Treat”, in which Serge took centre stage, singing parts of the chorus in the pit in front of the barrier. However, none of the classics were sacrificed, and with good reason. Even though it was released over twelve years ago now, “Club Foot” is still considered an indie anthem amongst fans, the first few bars of it alone were enough to get the crowd rocking.
The band briefly left the stage after playing the anthemic “LSF”, with fans continuing to sing the outro throughout their absence. After they came back on stage, they finished the set with two live juggernaut’s from their most successful album “West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum”. “I want to see every single one of you jumping up and down in unison” demanded Serge before the final chorus of “Vlad the Impaler”, the penultimate song of the set which got one of the most lively receptions of the night. He got his wish, even those watching on from the balcony were inspired enough to get airborne.
It was a similar sight as the band closed the set in typical style with “Fire”, with every chorus inducing another round of carnage. “Everybody get down” commanded Tom before the final chorus, successfully indicating for everybody to crouch down and to leap up the minute the chorus kicked in, making sure the set ended with a bang.
The crowd filtered out of Terminal 5 buzzing with adrenaline, leaving behind a bombsite of plastic cups and spilt drinks. The party kept going as fans filtered out of the venue, with English fans bellowing out a number of football songs, including “We Love Leicester”, “Kolo/Yaya Toure” and of course, “Jamie Vardy’s having a party”, much to the bewilderment of the locals. In the city that never sleeps, it’s likely that many of these fans didn’t that night. When they’re creating an atmosphere like that so far from home, there can be no questioning that Kasabian are on form. The same line-up is set to hit the UK this month, and going off this performance, everyone with a ticket is in for a treat.