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Kasabian 5/27 @ the Creppy Crawl, STL, MO, USA by way of Britain May 30, 2005

Posted by Matt Hurst in Uncategorized.
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It was a Friday night with promise – a good band was coming to town again for the second time in less than a week. That doesn’t happen. Actually a good band hadn’t come to town in months. I showed up at the Creepy Crawl right as the doors were to open (7:00 pm), only to find my panicked rush for tickets was met by an empty entrance and locked doors. The doors would open around 8 they told us. I made friends in the entry way, including two folks from Chicago who came here for a good show (a reversal of the usual emigration). By 8:30 and after the longest sound check in recent memory, I was first to buy fresh tickets in what would be a packed house.
First up were the Rock and Roll Soldiers, who burst out of their indie leaning em look to deliver an intense set of danceable southern-rock. Their set was short but got the evening off to a good start, exhibiting over-the-top 80’s metal guitar solos and steady syncopated rhythm that kept things moving. Picture that old lead guitar stance where the instrument is held out and square to the audience with lots of screaming from the other players. It was hard to hear the vocals throughout the set, but an increasingly red faced lead singer made his intense passion known anyway. Over about six songs the group (with the drummer’s mouth agape all along) brought a surprisingly straight rock set straight from Oregon by way of old Mississippi. They reminded me a lot of Kings of Leon, only with better pop sensibilities.
Next on stage were the newcomers MadAction, the apparent culprits of the sound check show delaying. On a stage lit with those red string lights you usually see on home-pimped cars and twin disco balls came out the band; the stage was set with promises only to be broken. In a generally uninspired set rooted deeply in grunge, the band played 9 songs that made me think of Stone Temple Pilots – but only because at least they sounded better. They had a hot start and finish to their set alright, the last song sounding like a collaboration between Josh Homme and the Dandy Warhols. There were other things I liked, such as the tambourine placed on the high hats, and the longest neck on a bass guitar I’ve ever seen. Though barely audible the whole set, the lyrics made even casual admiration next to impossible. Sample lyrics – “Jesus Christ, Rock and Roll, Jesus Christ, save my soul…on and on and on and on” (i am not paraphrasing), which is exactly how i felt after standing through their set. Clearly the band does not have much to say, and the band showed very little energy outside of their dueling guitar solos.
Coming finally to offer salvation (from mediocrity) at last were the night’s headline act – Kasabian. Even offering but a single album in their repertoire, the band has been making an impression to audiences far and wide with their rock-influenced combination of sounds like that from both the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays (yes, i know lots of others are making this connection, but that is honestly the first two bands that came to my mind the first time i heard them). The Liverpool super group burst out on the stage in a sea of white and blue light over heavy fog/smoke, and immediately began ripping through a rollicking set. The band features two bassists and a lead guitarist on a rickenbacher (who sometimes played samples), and a single lead singer occasionally picking up guitar. The real secret to this band, their set would slowly reveal, was their powerhouse drummer who kept the group in tight lockstep of funky syncopation. The effect was electric and could be found contagious throughout the house. Sometime in the middle of their set I took time to look around me (pushed up against the wall and two yards from the speakers to the left) – the room was jam packed from front to back and every person in sight was intently focused if not dancing wildly like there were at the rebirth acid house again. The set grew better with each song, and a climax could be felt growing in the audience as the band slowly got lost themselves in the fever. They blew out a small venue, and these Liverpool natives should be blowing up in the States soon. I’m still not sure if I felt like I was floating by the end because of the euphoric set I lost myself in or just spatial disorientation caused by my still ringing ears. Either way, from the moment the white lights came down into the crowd and the first riffs were played you felt like you were being baptized once more in the estuaries of Rock and Roll – a sort of being born again where rock and roll could be fun once more.

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