A view from the cheap seats…
It is true that I tossed a lot of love at Kings Of Leon last year after their release of “Only By The Night”. It truly is a fantastic album and easily the strongest CD, song by song, that I have heard in a long time. It is a classic in my collection and one I still listen too often. Then they were nominated and won a Grammy and from there it’s been nothing but accolades for this family band of 4 from Tennessee. With “Night” being their 4th studio album, it’s not as if they are newbies to the rock set. But it took me this long to finally see them live…and from what I had been hearing, I was totally missing out!
With the stage being the relatively new PNC Pavilion here in Cincinnati, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Opening for them was a band that I honestly didn’t know much about called “The Walkmen”. Much better live band than studio band. I checked them out on ITunes and didn’t really care for them. But their live set was pretty tight and they have a sound that I would compare to The Strokes at times, then maybe Bob Dylan at other times. Very unusual. But their 45 minute set was pretty good, especially the faster paced songs.
When Kings of Leon hit the stage, the joint lit up like a rocket! Yes, it was a sold out show. Yes, I realize that I am getting older. Yes, I know that bands that I like aren’t new & hip anymore. But I’ll be damned if I wasn’t surprised by how many people actually KNEW these guys and knew the lyrics and people were REALLY getting into it! The funniest moment was when this guy in the row in front of me gave me and my buddy Newman fist bumps and then went into a PSA about drinking & driving while pouring himself shot after shot of tiny bottles of whiskey. Thanks dude! Hope you got home with those 2 blondes okay!
Aaaaanyway, Kings Of Leon were awesome! They pretty much did EVERY song from “Only By The Night”, with my personal favorite “Closer” coming first in the encore. Obvious favorites were “Sex On Fire”, “Use Somebody” and “Molly’s Chamber”. With Caleb Followill’s distinct voice leading the way, Jared & Matthew on bass and lead guitar and Nathan Followill’s deft drumwork (not to mention his ability to blow huge bubblegum bubbles at any given time), everyone seemed to have a great time! The mix at the new Pavilion is really very good and should be applauded considering the awful acoustics at Riverbend and at US Bank Arena really give us very few good outlets for going to see bands live around here. All in all, Kings Of Leon are in a league all their own as far as arena rock is concerned. Top notch live act and very hard to follow. For my money, they are worth the price of admission and I would love to see them again at some point! And maybe at a little closer distance. Check ’em out if they come to your town! You won’t regret it!