Two days after Dinosaur Jr and the Powerstation is hosting another sold out concert. This time around it’s Bloc Party. While Dino Jr’s J Mascis frustrated some fans with his lack of stage presence, Bloc Party’s charismatic front man, Kele Okereke gave a lesson on how to put on a show.
Right from the start it was clear the four members of Bloc Party were ready for business with three of them dressed in basic black tees (with designs) and drummer bare-chested Matt Tong stripped down to his shorts. Yes, it was going to get hot in the Powerstation tonight.
So He Begins The Lie, from latest album Four, proved to be the perfect opener with its lyric, “The crowd are waiting, he takes the stage, hand on heart, open heart”. The song exploded with the sound of the rat-tat-tat drums and the flicker strobe lights made things even more exciting. It was a great start to a great show.
“Good evening, I’ve got a feeling this is going to be a good one tonight”, predicted Kele. And he was right.
Guitarist Russell Lissack got to show off his stuff at the end of Trojan Horse, then Kele counted the band (and the audience) into Hunting For Witches.
“This is a true story”, he announced before Team A. Kele then encouraged the audience to put their hands over their heads and clap along. He also slipped into his falsetto during the tune.
Probably the most dramatic performance of the evening came during Song For Clay (Disappear Here). The song built up quickly to a huge crescendo and almost felt like a mini-opera. By the end the floor of the Powerstation was heaving and the crowd was singing “I’m on fire” at the top of their lungs as they segued into Banquet from their Silent Alarm album.
Later Kele dedicated Coliseum to the boys. They created a big “rawk” sound and guitarist Lissack discovered his distortion pedal for this one.
Gordon Moakes abandoned his bass for a keyboard on One More Chance, their 2009 single that sounded very much like The Cure. Then came one of the many highlights…Octopus, the first single from Four, really rocked in this live version
“Bloc Party, let’s give it to them!”, a revved up Kele called out and they finished their regular set with the punky We Are Not Good People.
After only playing for just over 50 minutes, the quartet left the stage…but there was plenty more to come.
A lovely Signs, from Intimacy brought them back and then it was the “hey, hey, hey hey!” of She’s Hearing Voices. This is where Kele decided to climb up to the upper level of the Powerstation and basically, sing from the rafters. The crowd loved it.
Then came, “another old song” as Kele described the jangly This Modern Love, also from Silent Alarm.
They again left the dance after the bubbly electro-pop of Flux.
When they returned, it was time for a new, as yet unrecorded song, the jagged, funky Ratchet. “Make it real, make it loud!” Kele sang.
The show finally ended with Truth, from Four and Helicopter another rocker from Silent Alarm.
Almost 90 minutes after they started, Bloc Party were gone. Kele proved to be an excellent showman, talking to and cheering on the crowd while giving his all during the songs. The other three band members were relatively low key, just getting on with the business of playing their music, but Kele had enough spirit and energy to cover for all four.
Click on any photo to view a gallery of concert shots taken by Michael Flynn:
Bloc Party set list:
- So He Begins To Lie
- Trojan Horse
- Hunting For Witches
- Team A
- Real Talk
- Waiting For The 7:18
- Song For Clay (Disappear Here)
- Blue Light
- One More Chance
- We Are Not Good People
- She’s Hearing Voices
- This Modern Love