Judge Steve Power is chasin' down the wolves to save ya.
One…take control of me?
Nine chances out of ten, if you've seen a movie trailer for a 'Brit Gangster flick made after 2005, you've at least heard the catchy as hell chorus of "Club Foot." Round about 2004, Kasabian broke out with that single and global success (however fleeting) earned them some clout. They're an odd band, though not in a Thom Yorke/Radiohead fashion, more in the way they combine influences as varied as early British rock 'n roll and the roaring "house"scene of late 20th/early 21st century London. Loops and mixes accompany roaring arena anthems; a dash of The Rolling Stones or The Stone Roses here, maybe a little of New Order, a pinch of Massive Attack or DJ Shadow there, mix with the swagger and bravado of Oasis, and pray that it all goes down smoothly.
Kasabian: Live at the O2 (Blu-ray) features the following setlist in a lengthy performance:
• "Days are Forgotten"
The stage setup is the first thing that struck me; it's downright huge, technically brilliant, and totally eye-catching. The band describes the scene as a temple to their sound, and there are some awesome digital tricks being performed on the huge rear-projected backdrop. The band also sounds fantastic, with an energy that not only mirrors, but surpasses their albums.
One of the problems I've always had with Kasabian as a band, however, is made pretty prominent here: The songs all sound sort of the same. It's a lie to say there's a weak track here, but so much of the material borrows from the same tapestry that songs tend to bleed together, and time starts to drag on. Maybe slicing three or four numbers off of the gargantuan setlist might have solved that problem. On the flipside, when the really raucous stuff (like "Club Foot") hits, it kicks that much harder.
The other problem I have is more deep rooted, and may be more of a detriment to some: Kasabian carry themselves in much the same fashion as the Gallagher Brothers, with all the bravado and cocky swagger that Oasis are infamous for. When you tune into an Oasis show, you really get the feeling the band is truly embracing their fans. While they give the rest of the world the finger, their fans are warmly regarded and catered to, the band really making the audience feel like a part of the movement. It's an intangible thing. Kasabian extends that "eff you!" behavior to their own audience. They're an elitist bunch, demanding to be taken seriously, and holding those who are trying to share in the experience at arm's length. The audience sure seems into it, but the band feels like they'd be just as content playing an empty auditorium. They all but ignore the crowd for most of the show, and when they do interact it's with an off-putting air of superiority. Are they unique? Yep. Avant-garde? Definitely. Entertaining? Sure, but more for the stage show than their stage presence.
Eagle Rock continues to wow with another amazing looking concert disc. The 1.781:1/1080i high definition image is sharp, clean, and striking to look at, with wonderfully contrasting colors. The sound is a roaring DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix that actually had me reaching for the volume on the remote to crank it down a little (but not too much!). There's an LPCM Stereo track that sounds equally good, and a lone documentary is the only extra, covering the setup for this huge show and the band themselves—who come off as a pretentious and cocky lot. NOTE: Subtitles are present, but only on the documentary.
Those looking for an amazing combination of sound and video, Kasabian: Live at the O2 (Blu-ray) is perfect for hipsters to spin in the background at a house party.
Na na na naaah na nah-ot guilty! (sorry…)
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
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