IT WAS a homecoming gig which proved to be an emotional return for one of Yorkshire’s biggest bands in the city’s newest venue.
Kaiser Chiefs played the First Direct Arena tonight in a showcase of the city’s musical talent after they were supported by fellow Leeds act, Pulled Apart by Horses.
But the lead-up to the gig had sparked controversy after the Kaisers’ vocalist, Ricky Wilson, used the social networking site Twitter to vent his fury that his band were not the opening act at the £60m venue.
Kaiser Chiefs announced in November last year that they had been asked to christen the venue, although their appearance last night actually followed in the wake of concerts by Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Leonard Cohen.
But Ricky was in buoyant mood and played down his twitter rant when the YEP spoke to him ahead of the gig, which also featured Teleman on the bill.
He claimed that the band was “flattered” to be playing after the other acts, and added: “I’ve had a great time being home this week. We’re really looking forward to the show - the mood in the arena at soundcheck was amazing.”
The gig was the first opportunity for many fans to see the Kaisers’ new drummer, Vijay Mistry, after founding member and co-songwriter, Nick Hodgson, announced in December last year that he had left the band.
While the Springsteen gig proved to be the hottest ticket in town, the Kaisers did not quite manage to sell out the 13,500-capacity venue. They had sold 10,000 tickets ahead of the show.
Previous high-profile concerts in their home city include Leeds Town Hall, Millennium Square, Elland Road and Kirkstall Abbey.
The Kaisers have released four original studio albums including their award-winning debut, Employment, in 2005 which included the singles I Predict a Riot and Everyday I Love You Less and Less.
They enjoyed their first and only UK number one single, Ruby, from their next album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob. A compilation album, Souvenir - The Singles 2004–2012, was released last year.