Kasabian @ Henry Fonda Review
Kasabian, Henry Fonda Theater: 06/07/05
What is Tom wearing?
Pulsating rhythms, matched with blinding flashes of white light so bright you can’t see when Tom Meighan (lead vocals, co-frontman) steps onto the stage. The music continues pumping as the lights die down to find Kasabian’s co-frontman standing with a drink in his hand. Tom, dressed in a snug, black, long-sleeved woman’s top and tight black pants with a belt high above his waist, raises his glass with a “cheers” to begin the night.
And so it starts in Hollywood at The Henry Fonda. Behind Tom’s dress and erratic dancing are infectious swirling guitar and electric bass harmonies. Church chords rise from the stack of synthesizers. Tom joins the soaring melodies. The music feels like the Pied Piper summoning you for more. And this is just the beginning.
“Reason is Treason,” the fourth song of the night, picks up the pace. “K I LL” scream the fans as they sway together while lighting adds to the urgency of the song (all of which would make for terrific concert video footage). Theatrics continue during “Transmission” and the raver kids pogo for the rest of Kasabian’s set.
As a live band Kasabian have much more to offer than first impressions of the band heard on a car stereo. There are many layers to their songs complemented by two frontmen, Serge Pizzorno (guitar, vocals, keyboard) and Tom, both of whom know how to put on a show. But don’t overlook Chris Karloff (guitar, keyboard) who stands with a quiet elegance behind the wall of sythns adding ambience to the music. And on the other end of the stage bassist Chris Edwards adds great definition and hypnotic movement to Kasabian’s sound. Their session drummer, Ian Matthews, also made his presence known with a short but sweet solo.
Following their main set, rhythmic floor stomping ensues, as the audience demands Kasabian return to the stage. The band delivers a show-stopping rendition of “Club Foot,” earning a standing ovation from the balcony. After a group bow, Kasabian leaves the stage and the crowd immediately rushes outside. A second encore is not needed for an already dynamic end. Thank you and goodnight.
But, wait, it doesn’t end there. While some fans lingered outside, local LA band Automatic Head Detonator (AHD) gave a free outdoor performance from the back of a farmer’s truck. Passersby stopped to stare. It was a brave attempt to get attention and it worked in AHD’s favor.