Since Kasabian burst on to the scene in 2004, the UK band has matured quite nicely.
Over four distinct albums the lads from Leicester have explored different sonic pallettes from dance rhythms, hearty meat and potatoes rock to trippy psychedelia and more complex arrangements. While surpassing Oasis in terms of ingenuity and sonic adventurism on their albums, on stage on Friday night at Dubai's Sevens Stadium they ditched that subtlety for a monstrous live sound every bit as epic as that of their Manchester heroes.
Kasabian's performance confirmed their rise from indie darlings to stadium-fillers with a loud, brash 90-minute show heavy on singles, plus a few offerings from their latest release.
Augmented by an additional guitarist and keyboardist, the group managed to conjure the drama of opener Days Are Forgotten with the vocalist Tom Meighan in fine form during the sweeping chorus. Then it was straight to the stomping Shoot the Runner with Sergio Pizzorno's marauding riffs hitting straight at the chest.
The pace was maintained with Velociraptor, with Meighan barking into the microphone as if addressing a mass protest.
Underdog soon followed with Pizzorno and his fellow axeman Jay Mehler swapping the meaty riffage for ones more angular, before Chris Edwards stole the limelight with ID's superb bobbing bass lines.
In Fast Fuse, his slithery bass elicits dances from the crowd while in the burly Vlad the Impaler he kept the affair danceable in-spite of Pizzorno and Mehler's stone-man riffage,
It seems that success is suiting Meighan fine. While earlier gigs found him skirting the borderlines of obnoxiousness, he seems to have found a nice balance between being playful and assertive.
The group wrapped the main set with the storming LSF, which left the crowd chanting its "whoas" well into the break before they were back for the encore. The epic Fire was an apt way to wrap the show, with the slowly building verse making way for an explosive fist in the air chorus that had the band and crowd leaping.
For a complete set-list from Kasabian's Friday night performance, go to The National Arts & Life section's Scene and Heard blog.
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