Ricky Wilson wins the crowd over on the first night of the 'NME Presents' tour
It’s probably some time since the multi-million sellers from Leeds played a venue this small. Although more accustomed to festivals and mega-stadiums these days, Ricky Wilson and the Chiefs have downsized for this NME-presented assault on the States, the 2,000-strong crowd mainly comprising Philly natives curious to discover Britain’s Next Big Thing.
Annuals and The Walkmen offer able support, but this evening is all about one band. “We’re the world famous Kaiser Chiefs!” yells Ricky before leading his band into a 16-song set that the crowd eats up whole. Mini moshpit pockets break out and chants ripple to the rafters as America welcomes the indie diplomats with open arms.
Hopping and pogoing his way through ‘Every Day I Love You Less And Less’, ‘Ruby’ and ‘Thank You Very Much’, Wilson brings the excitement to a crescendo for ‘I Predict A Riot’, flopping from atop the crowd control barrier into the teeming teenage audience for what might be a record-breaking crowd-surf.
Tonight Kaiser Chiefs’ cheeky charm and infectious energy win everyone over, including the cleaners crowded into the corridors for a peek. Come the end of the tour they’ll have conquered the US or we’ll eat our pork pie hat.