THE MUSIC + Kasabian @ Cabaret La Tulipe

By Jordan-na - Canadian Invasion - 02/24/2005

There was something in the smoky air of La Tulipe that Thursday night. Something special was about to happen. It was a night of firsts: first time seeing a live show at La Tulipe, first time hearing The Music and Kasabian, and first time being completely blown away by the opening act. Minutes before Kasabian took the stage, I leaned over to my friend and said ‘This is gonna be good.” I could not have been more right.

Kasabian is an electro-rock group from Leicester who challenge the definition of rock by mixing it up with funk and dance, creating a psychedelic listening experience. Currently they are touring with The Music to promote their self-titled debut. If anything, their Montreal show proved that they are more than ready to headline. They perform like seasoned veterans and their four-piece band fills the stage with a solid, confident presence.

Kasabian’s set was the perfect fusion of show and song. Their light show is worthy of a big stadium concert, and to see it in a small venue brings the audience that much more into it. When you're that close, it is a visual musical trip, akin to being in the Beatles' Yellow Submarine. The colourful lights blinked, flowed and glared along to the music, changing colours and changing moods. One minute you were under the sea, the next you were on LSD. But instead of overwhelming the band in this spectacular show, it complemented their equally spectacular performance.

Lead singer Tom Meghan and singer/guitarist Sergio Pizzorno are the frontmen of the band, tall and assured, the two solid pillars of the group. Meghan danced around the stage like the frontman of a screamo band, but with more finesse and ease, moving to the beat while delivering the echo-like vocals. Pizzorno harmonizes well with Meghan, matching him in height and presence without having to move as much. They played off of each other so instinctively well, you would think they were brothers. Guitarist/keyboardist Christopher Karloff and bassist Chris Edwards completed the tight foursome and complemented the two frontmen with excellent musicianship. They gave a pleasing, full sound with their danceable beats and heavy guitar, bringing the audience on a sonic journey through a pleasing palate of smooth, lush tunes (“I.D.”) and funky uptempo songs (“Reason Is Treason”).

Kasabian’s music is a great blend of casually funky beats and rocking riffs. Their lyrics come across like catchy anthems you cannot help but sing along to. The audience, a surprisingly older crowd, was entranced from beginning to end. It is usually difficult for a new band to do an opening set when the audience may not be familiar with their repertoire. As a general rule, people like to hear what is familiar and are often apprehensive of new sounds, which makes it difficult for new bands opening for known groups. Kasabian easily overcame that obstacle. The crowd in front of the stage grew song by song. By the end of their set, they had won the room over, and promptly left the stage like a smart lover who leaves you wanting more.

After Kasabian’s set ended, the older crowd parted, making way for the younger fans of the headlining band. The Music soon came on. No amount of crotch rocking from lead singer Robert Harvey could distract me from Kasabian. It was easily the most perfect live set I have seen to date, a music experience that touched every one of my senses.

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