Kings of Leon
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
13 November 2011
The Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown tour has been a long time coming – with a postponement due to drummer Nathan Followill’s broken arm and the band’s future in doubt due to tensions within mid year. But the band came around (at sundown, on a balmy Melbourne night) and didn’t disappoint – providing a range of their old and newest catalogue of songs.
As Caleb Followill wore the cross around his neck – homage to his religious roots, his fans looked to him as their deity. Girls screaming and shouting ‘I love you’ and guys rocking out, bromance style. It’s what we’ve been waiting for. The Followill Boys – Caleb, Jared, Nathan and Mathew.
There’d been reports from concerts on this tour that the Kings had turned mediocre in their maturity, playing more stadium rock than the sweaty indie style of their youth. The crowd at Rod Laver didn’t seem to think so – getting hot and sweaty to the fast songs, and swaying their arms to the anthems. I think there was something for every fan, no matter when they first became a fan of Kings of Leon. Caleb’s trademark mumbly, gravelly voice still reigned.
The show opened with Radioactive – energetic and powerful, though I’d love to have seen it with the beautiful gospel backing vocals like on the album version. Band, take note for next tour. Other stand outs were Taperjean Girl, fuzzy vocaled My Party – the girls on their boyfriends’ shoulders behind me were going wild, Fans (my favourite), Crawl, the singalong On Call, Knocked Up and Black Thumbnail.
In terms of a performance, Kings of Leon is more musical than showy. Sure, there was the obligatory light show and stage projections (and the concert even ended with some pyrotechnics – which set off my asthma!), but the band aren’t known for moving far from their positions on stage or talking to the audience. They simply play to us, with a few bits of ‘chat’ thrown out between songs. But they enjoy it, it seems, feeding off our energy and giving off lots of smiles. As Caleb said, ‘the more you give us, the more we’ll give to you’.
This was the first concert I’ve ever been more excited about what was happening off stage than on, due to the crew taking a shine to me and showering me with gifts, and so I didn’t observe every moment had by the band. But I did see Nathan’s excellent coordination of providing backing vocals while drumming and blowing bubbles. And Mathew’s guitar fellatio during Closer was broadcast on the big screens – his lipwork on the guitar indicated he may be …er… good at the real thing.
Dave, head of Kings of Leon security left me a message on my previous blog entry about this concert:
“Hi Carly ,my name is Dave and im the Head of security for KOL ,thank you for you lovely comments and e-mail . The band love their fans and especially those who come and rock there socks off ,they feed off that energy and you gave them plenty ,all done with a fabulous smile .Keep it up lady youre awesome ”
I think, from the band’s performance and the great treatment I received from their crew, I came out of the concert feeling like a bigger fan of Kings of Leon. I feel incredibly lucky. The concert was worth the wait.