Before the Kaisers even take the stage, their presence is felt in the choice new wave and punk classics heating up the room and making the atmosphere feel more happenin’, cozy club than corporate, vast ballroom. Between band tunes don’t get much better than this. Top songs like Iggy’s “Search and Destroy” and Devo’s “Whip It” must have been plucked from the band’s own iPods, especially for the occasion. The NME logo, flashed across the walls of the room, is yet another beacon in the night, making us forget we’re in NYC, right up until the moment Nick, Ricky and co. came on amidst cheers with a blistering “Saturday Night.” Ricky hints another hit’s about to follow when he mentions we might just all want to sing along now, as the Kaisers break into “Everyday I Love You Less and Less.” Throughout the night, newer hits like “Ruby” and “The Angry Mob” (played as the first encore) blend seamlessly with those off Employment, and keep the audience pogo’ing and singing along tirelessly.

Tonight’s show is as well-oiled as a Broadway production with a generous share of crescendos and surprising twists, but luckily, Kaisers aren’t the kind of band whose steady rise in ticket sales mean performing shows so slick they lose all their edge. Sure, the lights are brighter, their name on the backdrop is bigger and they’re no longer playing nooks and crannies like Brooklyn’s Northsix (where I first saw them). They may be at the top of the charts, but they still know how to drum up a raucous good time without losing their connection with the crowd. Case in point: personal fave “Take My Temperature” means it’s really time to get fired up. Ricky takes off his vest and runs into the VIP section to sing part of the chorus, then runs back on stage, all aglow in red hot lights. It’s also comforting to know after these two long years, you can look forward to the Kaisers ending the show with a shattering “O My God” as their final send-off. –MAV

  1. [...] Check out Sentimentalist’s coverage of the Kaisers’ gig at Roseland Ballroom in April 2007 here. [...]