Leicester’s had a lot to celebrate this year.
A football team which secured a return to the Premier League after a 10-year exile, the right to bury King Richard III in the city he was unearthed – and Kasabian.
On Saturday night, the hometown heroes walked out in front 50,000 fans at Victoria Park, a venue they’d been plotting to play since even before the release of their debut album 10 years ago.
Beatboxer Beardyman, BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, Jagwar Ma and Rudimental warmed up the Leicester crowed as fans from across the region poured into ‘Vicky Park’ on the summer solstice.
Kasabian released their fifth album 48:13 earlier this month.
Its vivid pink album cover provided a backdrop to the stage which slowly counted down the minutes and seconds until the band’s 9pm arrival.
As it drew closer to ’00:00:00’, fans joined in the countdown while flares and smoke bombs littered throughout the crowd lit up pockets of the packed park.
What followed over the next hour and a half was a band at the peak of its power, putting on the show of their lives.
When Kasabian appeared, guitarist Sergio Pizzorno walked out with giant black foam hands and a skinny white T-shirt with ‘Les-tah’ across the front.
Frontman Tom Meighan, dressed all in black, sported a T-shirt with a large mushroom on the front and a pair of ‘bug eye’ glasses.
After the brief intro of (shiva), they launched straight into Bumblebeee from 48:13, a song which pretty much epitomises Kasabian.
A pounding beat, screamed backing vocals and a key-heavy verse which explodes into a guitar-driven chorus.
Kasabian played hits from across their five albums.
The likes of Club Foot and Processed Beats from their debut were a reminder of their early bass-driven groove, while recent single Eez-eh and Treat showed them at their electronic best.
Meighan was quick to reflect upon Kasabian’s rise since forming in the late 1990s, name-checking Leicester’s ‘longest running live music venue’, The Shed, and the smaller matter of closing this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
They ended their set with 2009 single Fire which saw Victoria Park explode into life for the choruses.
Kasabian returned for an encore which included a stripped-down cover of Fatboy Slim’s Praise You before closing with L.S.F, leaving the stage as, hundreds of feet above, a helicopter continued to circle the venue.
Less than a week from now, Kasabian will line up with Metallica and Arcade Fire as main stage headliners at the Glastonbury, bringing the festival to a close on the Sunday night.
While they’ll walk out to a bigger audience at an iconic festival known across the world, you’ve a feeling playing in front of 50,000 people in their hometown may just mean that little bit more.
Shoot the Runner
Days Are Forgotten
Vlad the Impaler
Praise You (Fatboy Slim cover)
L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)