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Kaiser Chiefs at The Showbox: signs and songs

Kaiser Chiefs at The Showbox (Photo by Alex Crick)

Kaiser Chiefs at The Showbox (Photo by Alex Crick)

 

What do you do when you’re a lead singer with a show to perform and you’ve lost your voice? Take a page out of Kaiser Chiefs’ lead vocalist Ricky Wilson’s book and make the whole thing part of the experience. Wilson went Dylan-esque at The Showbox Market with a giant sketchpad and a Sharpie, writing out notes and directives to the band’s fans as the show progressed, all the while maintaining an energetic, drumset-climbing stage presence. Fans helped Wilson sing, and although he had voice issues, he still managed to do quite well. And the crowd loved it.

The Leeds, England-based band plowed through their set with great collective energy, pausing about halfway through for a fan Q&A (Do they listen to Duran Duran? Yes. What’s their favorite thing to do in Seattle? Eat good sushi.). Their good-humored acceptance of the situation – the show had been rescheduled so the venue was only about half full – endeared them to the crowd (Wilson’s hand-lettered shirt read “Speech issues (?) in Seattle” on the front, and “Thank You! Seattle” on the back). Fans were happy to comply with signs asking them to cheer or clap along to songs. Before the encore, the band even held a raffle for a bag full of Kaiser Chiefs merch.

Priory from Portland, Oregon opened for Kaiser Chiefs, sporting a set of catchy, rhythmic songs that got the crowd dancing. Their harmonies and catchy hooks got things off to a great start, even if the crowd surfing didn’t go so well.

Setlist:
The Angry Mob
Ruffians on Parade
Everything is Average Nowadays
Everyday I Love You Less and Less
My Life
Modern Way
Na Na Na Na Naa
Never Miss a Beat
I Predict a Riot
Coming Home

Encore:
Oh My God

Christine Mitchell has been poring over album liner notes pretty much since she acquired the skill of reading, and figured out the basic structure of rock songs at an early age. Whether it’s the needle popping into the first groove of the record, the beeps that signal the beginning (or end) of a cassette tape, or digital numbers ticking off the seconds from zero, music brings Christine happiness, ponderous thought, opportunities for almost scientific study, and sometimes a few tears. When she started attending live shows two decades ago, a whole new piece of the puzzle clicked in and she has been hooked ever since.