Kele Live

     Had it been a Bloc Party concert, the Summit Music Hall in Denver probably wouldn't have been large enough to accomodate the crowd.  Instead, it was just the band's lead singer, Kele Okereke.  For a rock star used to playing at massive European festivals, he sure seemed at home in this smaller, more intimate venue.

     Still, Kele's set was essentially a Bloc Party show.  His debut solo album, The Boxer, is a natural successor to the band's 2008 Intimacy, continuing the evolution from guitar heavy syncopated indie post-punk to electro-clash rock.  And the show was a natural successor to the band's last tour.  Rather than sing on themes of love, loss, and pain, the theme of the show was self empowerment and finding strength.

     "You are stronger than you feel," he sang during "Rise".  "Raise those arms that once were broken."

     With hands raised, the energetic crowd sang along, often with the same British accent Kele sings with.  At one point, a voice in the crowd yelled, "Take your shirt off!"

      "This isn't an Usher concert!" Kele said back.  Within five minutes however, he lobbed his Notre Dame jersey into the crowd.

      The majority of the show consisted of solo material, although he did perform a Bloc Party medley of a pumped up "Blue Light", "The Prayer", and "One More Chance" (The finale also consisted of a even more synthed up than usual "Flux").  The majority of the show was also up tempo, and allowed for much moshing.

     "You were made for greatness," he sang to the crowd during "Tenderoni", one of the show's highlights.  The crowd seemed to agree.

     Kele Okereke is the voice of our generation, yet he is the type of musician who is uncomfortable with media and spotlight.  He loves his music and he loves his fans.  The passion is palpable.  During a slow number, "All The Things I Could Never Say", he had the crowd quiet down before beginning.  You could feel the pain as he sang, "Where did you stay last night?  You didn't come home."

     But the entire set was passionate.  From the slowest saddest songs to the most hyped up and euphoric.  In a short hour-long show, Kele proved he is one of the elite musicians of our era, and the voice of our generation.


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