Kasabian brought a whole lotta raw rock and roll to the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday night. It was Kasabian’s first gig down under in almost three years and a bit of a tease, with their tour comprising of only two shows in Sydney. This run of gigs is no blip on Kasabian’s radar, though, as the boys celebrated their debut at the Sydney Opera House and the band’s 20-year anniversary in one fell swoop. Unsurprisingly, they drew a massive and mixed crowd of the young, old-er and basically every British backpacker in Sydney.
Opening with the siren-sound of a piercing trumpet, the Leicester locals staunched the stage and kicked off the night with new tune ‘Comeback Kid’. From the start, you couldn’t help but be hypnotised by the charismatic duo of frontman Tom Meighan and lead guitarist Sergio Pizzorno. Donning a fabulous red and black velvet blazer, Tom exuded his usual cool exterior as he strutted the stage while Sergio hung back and hid behind his feathered mop of raven hair.
Commanding the attention of the crowd, Tom performed air guitar along with Sergio’s noodly riffs in ‘Bumblebee’ and yelled “more!”, stretching out his arms and beckoning greedily as the crowd went nuts. “This is quite intimate, innit?” he said with a cheeky grin as he looked around at the 360-degree view of the crowd.
The set was 18 songs of pop-rock energy that spanned the band’s entire catalogue. Ticking off fan favourites like ‘Underdog’ and ‘Shoot the Runner’ well before we had even hit the half-way mark, Kasabian clearly knows how to give the crowd what they want. They even gave ‘eez-eh’ a revamp by throwing in a medley of Daft Punk’s ‘Around the World’.
Within a few songs, it was like we were no longer occupying the hallowed halls of the Opera House. Instead, seats were abandoned as punters danced recklessly, the first few rows transformed into a mosh as dudes jumped on their mates’ shoulders and mysterious puffs of smoke sporadically billowed from the throng. Someone was even brandishing a bright blue Leicester City football flag which Tom proudly wore around his neck for part of the set.
Looking into the crowd, Sergio was clearly overwhelmed by the sight that greeted his eyes. “’Allo, ‘allo, ‘allo,” he said before recounting a story of Kasabian’s first visit to Australia in 2007. They were touring for Big Day Out and after scoring some weed with the dudes from The Vines, they stared out of their hotel and took in the view of the Opera House. “One day, we’ll be playing there!” he remembered himself saying. “And now here we are!” he guffawed with a laugh before launching into his acoustic rendition of ‘La Fe Verte’.
Turning things up a notch, one of the highlights of the night had to be ‘Clubfoot’. As his vocals were slowly drowned out by the chants of the crowd, Tom eventually turned the mic around and let them take over. “Rock and roll,” he said with a pout and boyish smirk.
As well as some of their old bangers, the quartet also gave us a taste of their much anticipated forthcoming album. “It’s very emotional,” whispered Tom before a soft guitar riff opened the new tune ‘Put Your Life On It’. “Everybody wants you, you don’t even have to try,” he lamented.
While the quartet and their live band left the stage after rocking out ‘L.S.F.’, the crowd wasn’t fooled into thinking that this was the end of the show. As the crowd stamped their feet and called out the same booming chant they showed off during ‘Clubfoot’, Kasabian returned to the stage to smash out ‘Stevie and Vlad the Impaler’.
“We’ve got one more song and I think you know what it’s called,” Tom smirked before the familiar riff of ‘Fire’ rolled in. And for one last time before they do it all over again tonight, the Opera House erupted with rock n roll-fuelled reckless abandon. Come back soon, Kasabian.
‘Kasabian play Sydney Opera House once more tonight, Thursday, 9th March.’