This was the first time I saw a band here, quite amazingly considering I go to pretty much all my gigs around Birmingham. It is half way between a medium venue like the Academy and a stadium - a little bit more standing room and a lot more seating. The first support band were a band called Esser. The lead singer, a man with a sparkly black coat and a Mohican, had a throat infection and kept telling us about it. I don't think they would have been much better if he hadn't been ill. It was ultra-fashionable electro-indie-pop, like Embrace with more synths or Hadouken! with less talent and anger. It was dull but not terrible.
The second band on were Black Kids. I was expecting the worst because I have never liked them on the radio, always found them a bit forced and soulless, but they weren't too bad live. They were well-drilled, and I'd imagine if you liked that stuff, you'd have been satisfied. But I don't like it, so I was bored. Between them and Kaiser Chiefs, some very unusual characters came on stage, dressed in white labcoats and mechanics clothing, measuring everything and ticking fake admin sheets on clipboards. Cue much cheering and laughter.
Finally, Chiefs took to the stage. They launched into Spanish Metal and everyone started fangirling (or fanboying) about Ricky's weight loss. He was energetic as ever, running all over the place and motioning to the crowd to cheer. They played a great set of old and new material, a nice mixture, that I can barely remember due to moshing and enjoying myself...Na Na Na Na Naa was definitely in there, and Never Miss A Beat, You Want History, Half The Truth, a beautiful electric version of Love's Not A Competition, Saturday Night, Ruby, Modern Way, I Predict A Riot followed by Take My Temperature where he went round the crowd and stood on a podium near the back, and it ended with The Angry Mob. After that they did an encore of Tomato In The Rain, something else and Oh My God, a very fitting end to the night. I am glad it'' back there where it should be in the setlist.
It doesn't matter what you think of their recent releases, it's hard to deny how good they are live. Everyone left sweaty and very happy, and I must say, it was the best gig of the year so far.