Kaiser Chiefs lead in a night of indie-rock classics on their first headline tour in two years.
As the lines to the Hydro filled with retired noughties indie fans, as well as couples with kids of the Employment era, support bands The Sherlocks and The Fratellis warmed up the stage. Last Friday night kicked off the weekend with sing-along indie hits and double denim, all drenched in the warm stench of a half-swigged pint.
The Sherlocks’ setlist was shortly missed by my tedious wait in the drinks queue, though I managed to catch the start of the Fratelli’s 40-minute stint. As I fought to weave through the standing crowd, clinging onto my reusable £1 plastic pint cup, their cover of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie was reciprocated well with the Scottish crowd as it filled the arena. With John Fratelli’s bandana and the backing vocalists’ black flares, the band posed a striking, hoe-down feel to their set. Whistle For The Choir induced a moment of nostalgia, while Half Drunk Under a Full Moon introduced the sound of their new album. As the guitar strummed its first few plucks, the crowd were desperate to chant the intro to Chelsea Dagger, transforming the arena into a sea of hand fists and jumping fans.
Frontman Ricky Wilson acquainted fans old and new from a platformed height above the band. His powerful vocals towered over the crowd as the Kaiser Chiefs opened with Born to Be A Dancer. A collection of hits from their 2005 studio album Employment followed instantaneously, featuring hits Modern Way and Na, Na, Na, Na, Naa. Ricky’s charisma networked through the crowd in personal anecdotes and his desperation for each member of the audience to scream the lyrics louder than him. The eccentric stage presence of the frontman exceeded through vigorous mic stand throws into the air, and the swinging of the mic over his shoulder.
The Kaiser Chiefs proceeded to treat the crowd with their new single, How 2 Dance, allowing radio listeners to dance to a new familiar beat, while others gained a newfound adoration for the sunshine pop sound the band has switched to. Hole in My Soul was next, from their 2016 album Stay Together, which in turn created a connection of sheer joy and happiness between the audience and the band; the uplifting hit was only slightly diminished by the missing gold streamers which could have projected into the crowd.
We were quickly brought back to the songs which founded the Leeds group’s success in the indie scene. Suddenly an electric surge was felt in the rapid piano riff by Nick Baines as Everyday I Love You Less and Less sparked a newfound rage in the chanting of “I know, I feel it in my bones”. The singing only intensified when their biggest hit Ruby’ was finally played after, which I believe must have inflicted the loudest repetition of one singular name the venue has seen.
The jumping of the crowd was far from dying down as the band took to the stage once more for People Know How to Love and Oh My God. A red light reflected on the audience as the arena closed on a night of classic indie rock anthems, reinforcing that the early hits of the Kaiser Chiefs will never date, and there will be generations like myself to come that will dance to I Predict a Riot in the living room as a child.