The name of the tour should’ve been “Fun” not “Four” because that was the obvious theme of the night when Bloc Party rolled into Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre for the final stop on the North American leg of their 2012 tour.
After openers Ceremony finished their set, the British band took the stage, but not without an intro that could only be described as what felt like the start to a Kubrick film. Glaring flood lights timed to horns blared rhythmically over a sordid-sounding Alberti bassline before the foursome walked on stage. Opening with the guitar-ripping “So He Begins to Lie”, Bloc Party quickly transformed the Art Deco-era theatre into their modern playground, ending the opening song on their latest album, Four, with an onslaught of rapid-fire guitars.
After a quick hello, frontman Kele Okereke swapped his guitar for charismatic dance moves while performing the mod-meets-garage “Octopus”, and “Hunting for Witches” off 2007’s A Weekend in the City, which flowed right into “Positive Tension” from the band’s 2005’s debut Silent Alarm. A new mid-tempo jam “Real Talk” showed off Okereke’s falsetto range, while the loud punk-rock sounding “Kettling” revealed the skills of the rest of the band. A performance of “Song for Clay [Disappear Hear]” flowed right into a rousing rendition of “Banquet”, which had everyone—even those of us hiding in the balcony—up on their feet. Following a few more songs off the new album, Bloc Party wrapped up the first half of their set with another guitar-and-drum-thrasher “We Are Not Good People”, yelling to the audience, “Let’s give it to them all over their faces!”
Back on stage, the band returned to their roots with “Blue Light”, bringing the audience along with them by asking them to sing the chorus. An unexpected cover of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” preceded “Flux”, before they left the mob below them really have it with a mosh-inducing performance of “Helicopter”.
The band left and came back on for two encores, starting with the melodic “Truth”, which had most of the crowd singing along. Bloc Party ended their set with a fan favourite, “Like Eating Glass”, which they went all out on, especially an impressive Matt Tong on drums. It was clear, right from the moment the band took to the stage, that they were up for a good time and really wanted to go all out on this final North American show, but it wasn’t without musicality and authenticity to the songs.