The Cribs and Mark Ronson help band rock Elland Road
Taking the stage to loud football-style chants from the audience, the band ironically kicked off their biggest ever gig with ‘Everything Is Average Nowadays’.
With singer Ricky Wilson wearing a yellow and white shirt under his suit, guitarist Whitey‘s amps emblazoned with “LUFC” and drummer Nick Hodgson wearing a vintage football top, the band embraced their local team – who play in the League One Play-Off Final tomorrow (25) at London‘s Wembley Stadium – and home city right from the off, declaring that their second song ‘Everyday I Love You Less And Less’ “is for you Leeds!”.
Having torn through the likes of ‘Heat Dies Down’ and ‘Born To Be A Dancer’, the band debuted a new song.
“When we started planning this we thought it would be nice to play a new song,” explained Wilson, “so we’ve got a new song.”
They then played ‘Can’t Say What I Mean’ for the first time live, revealing an urgent sounding, guitar-driven track with a vaguely new wave feel.
With the crowd still chanting loudly after the new song, they were quickly in good voice again, providing huge backing vocals for the band’s 2007 Number One single ‘Ruby’.
“What’s happening tomorrow?” Wilson jokingly asked, referring to the single’s lyric “due to lack of interest/tomorrow is cancelled”, before leading the crowd through a quick Leeds United chant and stoking the crowd’s final fever further.
The band then introduced their first guest of the evening.
“We’re not the only band from Yorkshire you know,” Wilson told the crowd. “Let’s hear it for Ryan [Jarman] from The Cribs.”
The trio’s co-frontman then shared vocals on the Kaiser Chiefs‘ single ‘Modern Way’.
The Who-esque ‘Never Miss A Beat’, which the band premiered on their winter tour last year, followed, before they played second album closer ‘Retirement’.
With ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ getting Elland Road well and truly rocking, the band then debuted another new track, this time with the help of their producer.
With Wilson finishing the previous song from in the crowd, Hodgson introduced the band’s second guest.
“Ladies and gentlemen you are the chosen ones, people of Leeds please welcome Mark Ronson, on tambourine,” he declared.
Taking to the stage in a Leeds United scarf, the producer immediately endeared himself to the crowd.
“I just want to say come on Leeds!” he shouted, “and I want to say is this is the best band in the world.”
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‘I Predict A Riot’ followed, with Wilson climbing the stage’s rigging to lead a singalong that could probably be heard across the whole of Yorkshire, before the singer disappeared from the stage.
After a short pause while his bandmates jammed on, he reappeared in the heart of the crowd, singing ‘Take My Temperature’ from the mixing desk before fighting his way back to finish the song onstage with the band.
Kaiser Chiefs wrapped up their set with ‘The Angry Mob’, though returned quickly with Hodgson taking an acoustic guitar behind his drum kit to play ‘Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)’.
With another new song – the taut-sounding ‘Half The Truth’, also getting an airing, the band began building towards the show’s climax.
“Thank you people of Leeds! Thank you people of the world! Thank you Kaiser Chiefs!” declared Wilson ahead ‘Thank You Very Much’, before they played the inevitable show closer ‘Oh My God’.
“Are you going to sing along?” asked Wilson before indulging in a healthy spot of football rivalry. “Are they going to hear us in Doncaster [Leeds‘ Play-Off opponents and local rivals]? They’re going to shit themselves!”
The band then finished their homecoming by taking a deserved bow at the front of the stage, before walking off as strains of football anthem ‘Glory, Glory Leeds United’ blasted from the PA.
Kaiser Chiefs played:
‘Everything Is Average Nowadays’
‘Everyday I Love You Less And Less’
‘Heat Dies Down’
‘Born To Be A Dancer’
‘Can’t Say What I Mean’
‘Never Miss A Beat’
‘Na Na Na Na Naa’
‘You Want History’
‘I Predict A Riot’
‘Take My Temperature’
‘The Angry Mob’
‘Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)’
‘Half The Truth’
‘Thank You Very Much’
‘Oh My God’
Earlier Kaiser Chiefs had been supported by newcomers Friendly Fires, The Young Knives, Kate Nash, who got ‘love letters’ from the Elland Road crowd, The Enemy and Mark Ronson, who played a surprise DJ set.
For more from Kaiser Chiefs homecoming stay tuned to NME.COM, plus look out for next week’s issue of NME, on UK newsstands from May 28 for a special souvenir edition.
Meanwhile if you went to the gig, send your reviews, stories, pictures and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org with Kaiser in the subject line and we will publish the best.