It’s official.  Swagger needs to be redefined.  No words necessary.  Just a picture of Kasabian, the English rock band currently touring the U.S. to promote their fourth album, Velociraptor!  Kasabian traveled across the Atlantic and landed at Terminal 5 in New York City on March 22, 2012, armed with vicious guitar riffs, pounding drums, and lead singer Tom Meighan’s charged vocals.

Coming on stage with 80s hair and tight jeans, emanating fearlessness while Youtube cameras streamed the concert live, Kasabian faced New York City’s crowd and immediately dove into Days Are Forgotten, a funky, merciless track off their new album.  It was pretty apparent by the end of Days that Kasabian had no right being at Terminal 5.  Their style of thrashing, in-your-face rock belongs in a stadium, where the epic choruses, sharp melodies and piercing drums are not confined to four walls.  Their power was evidenced in the way they owned the crowd, who at times were dancing so hard, it looked like a mass exorcism.

Meighan embraced the rock star persona, rarely taking off his sunglasses, continually popping the collar on his jean (yes, jean) jacket and leaning up against the speakers.  Meighan and guitarist (and occasional lead vocalist) Sergio Pizzorno constantly interacted with the crowd, pointing their mics at the audience, thanking the city of New York and at times ordering the masses to clap their hands.

The music translated well live and surprisingly had a more ferocious edge and funkier vibe than the albums.  The bass guitar and drums had a prominent role, giving the songs a heavier sound with recognizable old school blues influences. For a band with three guitarists, keyboardist and drummer all wildly attacking their instruments, you’d expect the sounds to bleed together and form a loud noise slightly resembling music.  However, every instrument was crystal clear, had its own standout moments during the show, and never overpowered Meighan’s strong and at times soulful vocals.  Even slowing things down with Thick as Thieves off their third album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, the acoustics were dominant and Meighan’s control was pretty impressive.  The best part of the Thick as Thieves was the ending, which morphed into The Doors’ People are Strange.  However, the highlight of the show was Velociraptor! (the song), which personified Kasabian’s attitude and arrogance while the music and vocals swirled through the venue.

Kasabian played 14 tracks and threw in 3 more for the encore.  They left no stone unturned, playing songs from every album. It’s rare to see a band that is able to channel some of the great rock performers of the 60s, 70s and 80s and still be able to maintain their own identity.  Kasabian did both, and did it pretty damn well.

Setlist

Days Are Forgotten

Shoot the Runner 

Velociraptor!

Underdog 

Where Did All the Love Go? 

I.D.

Thick as Thieves 

Take Aim 

Club Foot 

Re‐Wired 

Empire 

Man of Simple Pleasures  

Stuntman 

L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever) 

 Encore:

Switchblade Smiles 

Vlad the Impaler 

Fire

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