Kaiser Chiefs at the Avalon Ballroom on April 9

A review of the Kaiser Chiefs at the Avalon Ballroom on April 9, 2007

, Staff

Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson, moved his arms as if he were swimming through the crowd, as hand after hand propelled him forward. The notorious British singer was in fact crowd surfing at his band’s show at the Avalon on Monday night. He smiled widely when the sea of hands finally transported him to his destination: The bar. “Excuse me, could I get a whiskey and coke?” he asked the bartender, while speaking into his microphone.& &

Wilson’s boisterous antics, combined with his on-point vocals and the band’s energetic instrumentals, resulted in an amazing 70-minute set.& The Kaiser Chiefs are touring the United States in support of their latest album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, for the first time since 2005. The Chiefs opened the show with “Na Na Na Na Naa” and “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” from their acclaimed debut album, Employment. The band went on to play a mix of songs from both their albums, including new songs: “Heat Dies Down,” “Everything is Average Nowadays,” “The Angry Mob,” and “Retirement.”& Of course, the band’s breakthrough hit, “I Predict A Riot” and current single, “Ruby” galvanized the Boston faithful.

The lively crowd grew more enthused with each song. They were gratified when one of the guitarists leaped from the stage into the audience’s waiting arms. There were a few close calls, but with the help of security, he made it back to the stage without having touched the floor. In addition to crowd surfing, Wilson exhibited his illustrious concert behavior on stage. He is the only performer I have ever seen who has made playing the tambourine and the cowbell look so cool. Wilson twirled and threw the percussion instruments in the air and rocked out as if he was playing an electric guitar. Wilson’s attire also added to his cool factor; NME’s 2006 best-dressed winner wore black jeans and a black graphic tee with a black vest over it.

Wilson fed the crowd’s energy by continuously moving during the concert. From jumping on the speakers to throwing the mic stand in the air, Wilson’s tireless enthusiasm kept the show’s pace up right through the end. The Chiefs finished the night with a ten-minute-long performance of “Oh My God,” a crowd favorite off of Employment. The audience chanted the words along with Wilson and was practically moshing by the end of the song.

The Walkmen opened for the Chiefs and received a warm response from the crowd. The New York band played mainly songs from their 2006 album, A Hundred Miles Off. The crowd responded most to their single “Louisiana,” but lead singer’s Hamilton Leithauser’s screeching singing style kept most eyes on the stage throughout their 40-minute set. But perhaps the crowd just wanted a look at the guy who got drunk and wound up spending a night in jail at this years South by Southwest festival.& &

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