Through a wonderful stroke of luck, I got myself a ticket to see Kaiser Chiefs last night at 9:30 Club thanks to Brian. By the time I heard about the show, it was sold out, so I figured I wouldn’t get to see them anytime soon. As far as I know, this is their first American tour, and they’re only here for a month or so before heading back overseas, so I got pretty lucky.
Annuals opened the show, and were already playing by the time we got in. They’re sort of a drum-heavy hipster groove band. About half the songs they did featured two drummers, and during one of them, the lead singer and the guitarist both whipped out drumsticks and started pounding away on floor toms. It was cool as hell. Also, they kind of reminded me of the New Pornographers, because they had a red-headed fella and a Neko Case-y chick.
The Walkmen sucked. Brian assured me that it wasn’t a very good performance - he’s a big fan and has seen them quite a few times - but even so, I don’t think I could get into them. They were like a melancholy Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, with lots of unintelligible mumbling and screaming, and we all know how I feel about that.
The Chiefs were awesome to see live (“like a hundred million hot dogs, sir”). I don’t think I know anyone else who really knows them, so it was really cool to stand in the middle of a big crowd and sing along with other people that actually know their songs. I picked up Employment while I was in SF two months ago and listened to it the whole time I was there, so it’s firmly entrenched in my subconscious as the soundtrack for that trip, and as such, a lot of the songs they played reminded me of particular parts of the tip. That made me smile. It was a great set, they played all the songs I wanted to hear, and put in enough energy and showmanship to make it as much fun as I’d hoped it would be. Hopefully, they’ll come back to the US after this tour, because I’d love to see them again.
Oh, and I got a bonus: anyone who’s been to 9:30 knows the enormous bouncer with all the piercings and tattoos. I went out for a smoke during The Walkmen and got to see him throwing out some punk-ass trust-fund baby in topsiders, khakis, and a polo. Apparently the kid said he was going to wash the under-21 marks off his hands as he was walking by a bouncer, who followed him into the bathroom and watched him do it. The kid actually had the balls to argue to the big guy, and I give him credit for that, but the bouncer got pretty pissed when he started mouthing off to a girl that was out there, and escorted him pretty quickly away from the club’s entrance. It was fun to watch.