Published on April 19th, 2012 | by Rhee Stacks0
Live Review: The Kaiser Chiefs and Teenage Kicks – Toronto 4/17/2012
The only predictable thing about Kaiser Chiefs’ performance at the Opera House Tuesday night was that it was a banger of a show.
Along with his band-mates, front man of the Leeds-based post-punk band, Ricky Wilson, challenged the venue’s notoriously poor sound quality with fan-favourites such as Ruby, I Predict A Riot and Every Day I Love You Less And Less —and most certainly won.
Toronto-based Teenage Kicks (A Night With Teenage Kicks) started the show, pouring their melodic, indie hearts out to the oddly eclectic crowd of fathers, sons, husbands and wives of young and old. The five-piece band were not short on enthusiasm, as lead vocalist, Pete van Helvoort, sang and danced his bearded face off with more manic energy than a Rockstar.
Teenage Kicks set the atmosphere for a night of post-punk with a dash of rock n’ roll, with songs such as The River and Brooklyn Bridge.
Yeah, their harmonies were a little off, and the venue’s sound quality caused the bass to distort most of the [musicality], but the rawness and passion of their delivery was not overlooked.
The Kaiser Chiefs swiftly followed the opening act, introducing themselves with a series of flashing strobe lights and the Dire Straits’ riff, Money For Nothing.
The crowd’s anticipation was soon satisfied, as Chiefs’ drummer Nick Hodgson — sporting the typical Britpop bowl haircut — strode across the stage to his seat, followed by band-mates, Whitey, Simon, Peanut and Ricky.
It was clear the sound quality had significantly improved, as the Kaiser Chiefs used their own equipment, and dove straight into their set-list with songs Every Day I Love You Less and Less, Never Miss A Beat, The Angry Mob and Na Na Na Na Naa.
The Opera House’s packed audience were swaying and jumping to their favourite Chiefs’ songs, but all eyes were fixed on lead singer, Ricky Wilson, flailing his tambourine carelessly in the air. Their performance was clearly about feeling, not about composition, as the bass forcibly thumped, and Wilson deliberately chanted off-pitch, post-punk-esque vocals.
Wilson flaunted his expertise as front-man by skillfully throwing the mic-stand in the air, catching the microphone mid-air, and jumping onto the barrier fence.
After jumping into the audience and onto one of the bar counters to guzzle a Heineken in between songs, he began enticing the audience to clap and sing along, as he pounded the microphone to his chest.
Come on Toronto, I need you to roar like a Toronto-saurus,” encouraged Wilson.
The audience gladly complied.