Kasabian w/ The Vaccines @ Festival Hall 28/1/12
February 1, 2012
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I’ve taken a bit of a break from live music since New Years, so it was good to be back in the scene, with the first of back-to-back ‘BritPop’ gigs.. It was actually my first trip to Festival Hall, surprisingly, but had heard mixed reviews about the venue, in particularly about the heat of the venue. Even just sitting on the side of the hall, I managed a decent sweat which when combined with my Australia Day sunburn was not pleasant.
I’m not going to write too much about The Vaccines music, having written extensively on them in the past, but rather focus on their live performance. It’s been a bit over a year since NME first called The Vaccines as one of the bands to watch in 2011. Having followed them since the debut of their album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, I was curious to see how the band had developed. Plagued with vocal problems on their tour in the middle of last year, the group have toured extensively with a number of Britain’s finest, including Arctic Monkeys, and I was hoping for an improvement on their performances from last year. Unfortunately it was not forthcoming. The set was not bad by any extent, but they are still lacking in key areas that will place them below their counterparts. I couldn’t help but think the group need more charisma. Lead singer Justin Young lacks the arrogance that has characterised BritPop in the past, and what Tom Meighan would show later in the night. With the hype they have been given from NME in England, I would have thought a more confident performance from the boys.
Kasabian seem to love Australia. This is their fourth tour in two years as they continue to soak up the money from our bubbling economy. Surprisingly billed as third head-liner at Big Day Out, they were mainly showing their new album Velociraptor! In comparison to The Vaccines, the band put on an assured performance with the arrogance that would be expected of the big boys. With the anthems that they have in their catalogue, it is easy to see why they have claims of being the new Oasis. Tom Meighan and Serge Pizzorno led the group and the fans through huge sing-a-longs Shoot The Runner and Underdog, while mixing it up with some new tracks like Days Are Forgotten and the title-track Velociraptor. My biggest criticism of Kasabian is the lack of differentiation between songs. There was a lack of any sort of acoustic song, something that would have been very handy in the sweltering humidity that had built up inside the hall. It must have been particularly hot in the mosh-pit. But I was glad to head both Club Foot and LSF live, before the huge dance to favourite Fire.
The most interesting part of the gig was comparing the two bands. The Vaccines have potential, but will need to try to emulate Kasabian in their growth. Touring with them is going to help them substantially.