Kasabian made Leicester their empire at the first of two sold out shows at the King Power Stadium.
There are some things one can only really understand once they experience it for themselves. The country, and indeed the world, watched on while Leicester City ripped up the script and write their names down in history by winning the Premier League, and we all understood the magnitude. But really, to realise how genuinely special it is, you need to visit Leicester.
It’s been a good few weeks since the deal was sealed and the trophy lifted, but the city is still revelling in the greatest sporting success England has seen in decades. Kasabian’s announcement that they were to be playing the King Power Stadium seemed not only an obvious choice, but also the cherry on top of Leicester’s quite unbelievable cake.
The stadium welcomed revellers from all over the country for the first of two sold-out shows, but it was those who were Leicester born and bred making the loudest noise, and who could blame them? The names of Jamie Vardy, Danny Drinkwater and Riyad Mahrez rang around the concourse, drowning out the support acts on stage, in wake of the arrival of a band who have held hero status in the city long before those players did.
Like any other Kasabian gig it was rowdy, thundering perfection until the very last. Entering the stage to ‘Nessun Dorma,’ the band beamed out at the adoring crowd in front of them, Tom Meighan announcing “this one’s for the underdog!” Before flying into the ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ track; a fitting tribute to what their football team had achieved over the past nine months.
They pounded their way through a set list any band would crave to have as their own – even Serge Pizzorno’s stunning cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ made it sound as if he’d written it himself.
From ‘Bumblebee’ to ‘Where Did All the Love Go,’ Leicester’s finest put on a performance as great as any the King Power had seen this season – with a buoyant, proud crowd lapping up every line; every riff; every beat.
But the evening wasn’t just about the music. It was different – the lingering sense of Leicester City’s achievement inescapable, none more so than when Tom Meighan introduced ‘Put Your Life On It,’ a tribute to Leicester City and those who weren’t able to witness the achievement, in what was the most emotional moment of a truly special night. DMU Gospel Choir were outstanding, and the raw passion on the face of Tom ensured everyone knew what this meant to him, to them, to Leicester.
As darkness began to envelop the stadium, Kasabian still had so much more left in their tank: ‘Switchblade Smiles’ illuminating the sky with strobe lighting, and a rare outing for ‘Empire’s’ ‘Stuntman’ was greatly appreciated. As ever, ‘Praise You’ leading into ‘L.S.F’ received the loudest, most vociferous reception; Kasabian’s arsenal is truly magnificent.
A brief pause before a rumbling encore, the band returned with ‘Stevie,’ before ‘Vlad the Impaler’ sent the stadium into pandemonium, with Noel Fielding entering the stage for his usual role of Vlad: this time kitted out in a retro Foxes football kit, wielding a corner flag as his weapon of choice – just when the city had thought it had seen it all.
With the last flares of the evening lit, ‘Fire’ brought a close to the night in typical Kasabian fashion: perfect chaos. And as the chants of “championees, championees, ole ole ole!” echoed into the night, the band left the stage having made the King Power their empire. On the subject of things that have to be seen to be believed, Kasabian truly are one of them.
This Kasabian article was written by Natalie Whitehouse, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard.