In 2006, I started listening to a couple of buzz bands out of England whom critics compared to some of my favo(u)rite British groups of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I liked the band whose debut album had come out the previous year, but didn’t like the one whose just had.
Six years later, both are still around. On Wednesday night, one of them–Arctic Monkeys–opened for The Black Keys at TD Garden. The other one, Kaiser Chiefs, was tops on the bill at the Paradise Rock Club on Tuesday, having originally been scheduled to be at the House of Blues.
This could have conceivably been a bit of a blow to the Chiefs’ egos, but to paraphrase John Milton, “Better to headline at the Paradise than to support at the Garden.”
(I’m just paraphrasing him, not necessarily agreeing.)
Besides, Kaiser Chiefs was the band that I had liked before, so I was happy to see them for the first time in a venue in which I could actually see them.
Although they are touring in support of their new album, Start the Revolution Without Me, a plurality of the setlist’s inclusions came the band’s first album, Employment, including “I Predict A Riot” and “Everyday I Love You Less and Less,” the show and album’s opener. Thankfully, they paid ample attention to their unjustly vilified second release, Yours Truly, Angry Mob.
A couple highlights of the show were “Never Miss A Beat” and “Everything Is Average Nowadays.” With lyrics like “It’s cool to know nothing” and “You said we didn’t need it / So threw away the book of rules,” these are songs that an American band could have recorded as commentaries on the Bush administration.
Long-time followers may have found the set to be a bit predictable, as most of it consisted of singles. Plus, Start the Revolution Without Me had just come out that day, so people didn’t have much of a chance to get excited about hearing it live. (Although I hear that they are ways of hearing a CD without having to wait for it to arrive at a store and then going there to purchase it.)
But when the singles are as good as those ones are, one should be grateful that the band doesn’t ignore them simply because they are the ones that everybody knows.
Those who find Kaiser Chiefs’ albums to be a bit uneven should patiently await the butt-kickin’ compilation that the band will surely release some day. (Although I have also heard that there are ways of acquiring individual tracks and arranging them whichever way you please on newfangled electronic devices.)
Speaking of buying CDs, not any of the band’s catalog was available at the merch table. I did, however, see some people buying the new one in order to get the band to sign it at Newbury Comics a few hours earlier. Other than that, one mystery remains: why did the band take the stage to “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits?
Transfer and Walk the Moon each did a fine job of warming up the relatively large crowd that had assembled by 7:45. Each seemed determined to help preserve the excitement, exuberance, and playfulness that rock and pop music depend on.