Kaiser Chiefs, Festival Hall
Maximo Park, Prince of Wales

It seemed appropriate to group these two shows together as my last experience of both bands was about two years ago as they were enjoying a rapid rise in popularity, success and hype. Two years ago both bands were still learning their craft, their showmanship and the ropes, so now after two years on the road and two albums each, how do they compare?

Kaiser Chiefs and their more poppy blend of rock are in the larger venue, the horrendous Festival Hall, which is like an aircraft hanger with a stage and unfriendly staff who try to give you the feeling that you're privileged to be served by them, not the other way round. After a set by the ubiquitous Operator Please and the not-as-rock-as-expected Wolf & Cub, Kaiser Chiefs take to the stage with a sound, light and stage show worthy of a stadium band, when did they go from becoming quirky pop-rockers to Rock superstars? The lights are perfectly synchronised, matching and manipulating the mood of the crowd as Ricky Wilson puts into practise a skill he has become a master of, initiating crowd sing-a-longs. He runs at the audience, he jumps into the audience, he throws the microphone into them and they know every word. Kaiser Chiefs remain one of the best and most fun live shows you will experience from a young rock band, they make no pretensions of seriousness or originality and no one cares, especially the band.

Maximo Park have the smaller stage, their slightly more eccentric blend of Indie Rock not quite as commercially viable and appealing to the masses. Operator Please were supposed to be on the bill tonight as well, but they unexpectedly cancelled, and frankly I'm relieved, not only because I'm overdosed on the band, but also because I wouldn't haven't experienced the wondrously restrained and arranged set of Ghostwood. After a short break filled with Indie Disco classics it's time for Maximo Park to show us what their made of and it's instantly apparent that they've become more accustomed to larger stages, singer Paul Smith and his trademark flying leaps looking slightly restricted by The Prince of Wales's stage. The band put on an equally energetic stage show, their frantic sound and songs keeping the audience moving and singing, the front of the stage is a seething mass of bodies, it's surprising that despite the lack of security there is no stage invasion at any point throughout their mammoth hour and a half set.
A lot of large international bands can treat Australian shows as just another one on the list to tick off, little realising that to their audience this could be the only time they will experience the band any time soon, both Kaiser Chiefs and Maximo Park not only acknowledge this but pull out all the stops to ensure that everyone in the room, the band included, has a great time, after two years both bands have matured but it's evident that they're still enjoying what they do and so do the crowd.

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