“This one is for the girls…” Bloc Party singer/guitarist Kele Okereke whispered into mic before the band launched an unexpected cover of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” At this point in their careers, the guys from Bloc Party have mastered the unexpected and their concert at the House of Blues in San Diego last week was no different.
Swiftly mixing in tracks from four albums, b-sides and a cover, the band’s setlist kept fans on their toes. One minute, Okereke was delicately lamenting the doldrums of the 9 to 5 on “Waiting for the 7.18” and the next, he was headbanging on “Coliseum.” The band – Okereke, guitarist Russell Lissack, bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong – seamlessly navigated between material old and new, light and heavy and kept the party flowing.
Did we mention Okereke loves to party? At every occasion, he exhorted the crowd to make more noise – including multiple reminders the band came all the way from London to play this gig. While keeping the energy up, it was clear the singer most enjoyed playing tracks that veered into the electronic/techno realm. Accompanied by a spectacular light and laser show, “Flux” was clearly the high point of the night; getting the crowd dancing and Okereke smiling.
If you’re on the fence about seeing Bloc Party in concert, we definitely recommend you go and check them out. Although, the band played a lot of newer material- it showed they like to experiment. We appreciated they also didn’t forget their roots. The prevalent crowd reactions of the night were for hits from Silent Alarm, “Helicopter” and “Banquet.” Okereke gave a nod to the old-school fans before playing the last track of their second encore, saying “We’re going to play an old song, you may not remember it.” As the crowd went crazy for “This Modern Love,” the singer playfully replied, “Oh, so you do remember it.”