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SLCR #169: Kasabian (April 7, 2012)

Upon second viewing, the University LRT station has very clear directional signs, and I only took the wrong train on the way back from The Cat Empire because I’m a dumbass. “These things happen, especially to me” definitely still applies, though.

I started this text file over a month ago and the paragraph above would have worked a lot better had I sent this review out the day after the last one instead of six weeks later. I had good intentions. I also had work being work and keeping me there all hours again. Mind you, I also had DrawSomething and Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends and Jetpack Joyride and (most recently) Prose With Bros. Maybe I’ll play a real video game someday.

I used up most of my standard filler to set the scene for the last review, so this one might be short. I have made my peace with this. Besides, I really need to get this review thing off my conscience.

What I know about Kasabian: about twice as much as what I know about The Cat Empire, in so far as I knew TWO of their songs. Club Foot is in Rock Band, and Days Are Forgotten was used for some WWE pay-per-view last fall. She’s much better than I am when it comes to recognizing and remembering songs, but I still find it hilarious that Mika remembered this and I did not. When I looked it up online, I had no recollection of ever hearing it before. Apparently, their song Fast Fuse was used for a WWE show a few years before. I didn’t remember that either. Songs Are Forgotten.

Having used the previous night’s show as a Calgary Transit trial run, I got the timing down perfect and made it to the MacEwan Centre with just enough time to buy the new Kasabian CD, Velociraptor!, and find a place to stand and play my DrawSomething words. The venue layout had changed a bit from the night before, as there was no seating area this time. Essentially, it was a big warehouse with no chairs.

Our opening act was Hacienda, and I am struggling to even finish off this sentence. They were the quintessential opening act, in that I had never heard of them before, I never once thought “I dislike this,” and I never once thought “I need to hear more of this.” They played for their half-hour and it was fine. I feel like I’ve written this paragraph 50 times before with different band names. I wonder if I could make up my own Mad Libs to speed up future review writing.

Before the opener, as I was on my way to an empty piece of wall I could lean against, I ran into a friend from work, which is not something you expect when you’re 500 miles from home. We had a bit of a chance to chat between sets, which was nice. I have no real problem attending shows by myself (even if, as in the case of The Cat Empire, it does take away from the overall experience), but it was good to see someone I could talk to for a bit.

In England, Kasabian sells out arenas and headlines festivals. In Canada, they play chairless warehouses, but their big-stage history shone through. Sometimes too brightly, as it appeared that they brought their arena lighting kit with them and occasionally it hurt. The stage also featured a banner showing the artwork from their newest CD, which looks like four Whiplashes – you know, Whiplash, the He-Man character from 30 years ago – in a circle all eating each other.

Like I said, I really wasn’t that familiar with them, so I couldn’t tell you what they played. I got the two songs I knew, but I enjoyed everything else as well. It was loud and fast and fun from start to finish. I’ve been listening to that CD, and it’s not bad or anything, but doesn’t compare to the live show.

Although speaking of the finish, I will say that the show ended on an odd note. You know the normal routine: the band ends with a hit song, they really give ‘er for the finish, they leave, everyone cheers, they come back and play a few more. But at the end of Kasabian’s set, they just wandered off, one by one. It was the opposite of a big climax – an anti-climax, if you will – and the crowd wasn’t sure what to make of it. Despite the crowd going nuts for the whole show, there was very little reaction when it was over. I think people really just didn’t get that the main show was done. And then there was more of the same after the encore. It didn’t wreck the show, by any stretch, but it was a slightly confusing end to what had been a fantastic show.

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