Kasabian and Slaves Storm Through Chicago’s House of Blues

Although Riot Fest is over for another year, Chicago shows are still making your eardrums bleed. UK rock groups Kasabian and Slaves put on one hell of a show Tuesday night at the House of Blues, and the pairing couldn’t have been more perfect. Slaves, a duo consisting of vocalist and drummer Isaac Holman and guitarist Laurie Vincent, have only just started to make a name for themselves in the States. The group sound like a mix of The White Stripes and Nirvana, with a unique, fast-paced garage sound. Their most recent album, Take Control, peaked at #6 in the UK charts and earned them a spot as Kasabian’s opening act.

Slaves opening for Kasabian

While Vincent plays a glittery gold guitar and jumps around the stage, Holman slams on a set of standing drums with more energy and fervor than anyone. Slamming the drums while marching in place, Holman looked almost militaristic (aside from being shirtless, screaming into a microphone until his voice cracked, and throwing his drumsticks at the crowd after every song). The two have an unshakable chemistry  onstage, and their musicianship is equally impressive. Only a few two-member bands come to mind, and Slaves’ energy and raw sound certainly make them one of the best out there right now.

Kasabian are celebrating their 20th year as a band, which is almost impossible to believe. Frontmen Tom Meighan and Sergio Pizzorno met in community college (which we’d refer to as high school) at the age of 16 and formed a band with Chris Edwards. The band was named Kasabian by their record producer after Linda Kasabian a member of the Manson family, and when they released their first studio album in 2004, they took off immediately. The self-titled album reached #4 in the UK charts and cemented their place as brit rock staple. The band has said before that they don’t like being compared to Oasis or Blur (despite having respect for both groups) because their sound is unique and unlike either group.

Kasabian’s Tom Meighan (left) and Sergio Pizzorno

While there are certainly some similarities between them, Kasabian has worked hard to create their own fanbase and place in rock n’ roll. They opened their House of Blues set with “Ill Ray (The King)”, their single from their newest album, For Crying Out Loud, and the crowd immediately went nuts. The single has a great video featuring Lena Headey of Game of Thrones and shows the band’s playful side, which was in full swing on Tuesday night. Although the show didn’t sell out, the crowd gathered as close as possible to the stage and filled the venue up to the top of the balcony. Kasabian have never quite reached household status in the States, but the quality of their shows doesn’t waver when they’re playing for a smaller audience. It was a thrill to see them live, and they certainly live up to the hype that they’ve garnered across the pond.

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