Last night (Wednesday), we saw Kings of Leon.
Jared, Caleb, Matthew, Nathan.
We saw KOL the last time they toured for an album (July 2010). They’re a “Ro-band” (I’m only a casual listener), but I remember being unimpressed with their stage presence – or rather, lack thereof.
This time around, while they were still fairly quiet – I think Caleb only spoke 5 times- they actually seemed to enjoy what they were doing. And if the band is having fun, then that means the audience is also going to have fun.
The opening band was Gary Clark Jr. He was sorta country-old school rock-blues i.e. all the guitar riffs. Which can be cool…except it felt like his songs lasted 12-15 minutes. I don’t mind long songs (see: Something Corporate’s epic “Konstantine”), but it’s hard to focus on a guy you’ve never seen before playing songs you’ve never heard before while sitting in a crowd of strangers (we have floor level seats). Not really my type of music, but he fit well with KOL.
They came out at 8:50pm and played for just under two hours straight. Because of the lack of talking, this meant that they just played song after song. If you look up the setlist from this tour, you’ll see that they play 27 songs, which includes the 3-song encore. They closed with their (arguably) most popular song, “Sex on Fire”, but they included songs from all six of their albums.
I was disappointed because they played “Beautiful War” in literally every city except for Toronto. It was one of the songs I was actually really looking forward to hearing (the bassline is gorgeous).
Despite that, a great thing to see live is when Matthew plays the guitar with his mouth (apparently he’s screaming into it? So I’ve read, anyway), during “Closer”, which is such an addictive song.
I couldn’t find a live video where you could clearly see him, but the song is too good not to listen to.
Overall, it was a much better show compared to the last time we saw them. I’m not a hardcore KOL fan (I can only name about 5-6 songs off the top of my head), but I forget that I do quite enjoy them.