Let me begin by saying that asking me to objectively review a Kings of Leon concert is like asking Sarah Sweet-Tooth to objectively review a Pixy Stick. With that said, however, they did rock the absolute pollen out of New York’s Roseland Ballroom last night.
If you’re not too familiar with the Kings, I like to consider them The Best Band You May Have Heard Of. I urge you to go, dare I say it, buy a CD. I’m partial to their second album Aha Shake Heartbreak, but their newest one, the polished Because of The Times, may have more pop appeal and is extremely solid.
The long and short of it that the four Followills, three brothers and a cousin who comprise the band, know how to put on a ducking rock show. No tedious monologues, no preaching, no pauses, no slow-it-down ballads, just a tight hour and ten minutes of howl-tastic rock and roll.
addCredit(“Kings of Leon: Frank Mullen/WireImage.com”)
Opening up with, for my money, the best track off the new album,”Black Thumbnail,” the Tennessee kids came out swinging and neverstopped for a clutch. Plowing through their new material, they playedpretty much every track off Because Of The Times (except,curiously, “Ragoo,” which I think may have made for a catchier firstsingle then the one they went with, “On Call“). It was refreshing to hear so many in the crowd singing along with allthe new songs. The vibe of the concert was definitely of the die-hardvariety. These people weren’t here to be converted, they’d beenpracticing in the Church of Leon for some time now. Then again, singingalong at a Kings concert is akin to speaking in tongues, since no onereally knows what frontman Caleb is actually saying. Which is probablywhere your love for the band will end up hinging. Either you appreciatethe ambiguity of their lyrical wails, or you just don’t get it. Inwhich case, your loss; go listen to some profound emo.
The Kings rounded out the concert by mixing in their most popular tracks from Aha Shake like “The Bucket,” “Four Kicks,” and “King of The Rodeo,” as well as some killer songs I had nearly forgotten from their first album, Youth and Young Manhood, like “Molly’s Chambers“and “California Waitin’.” The highlight may have been their ode todrunken impotence, “Soft,” which had everyone in the crowd jumping andshaking like drunken impotents.
At one point between songs, Caleb took the time to thank the crowd,announcing, “We didn’t remember New York crowds being this good.” Towhich everyone in the sold-out crowd, who had obviously listened to thealbums and probably seen the Kings in one of their high-profile gigsopening for U2 or Bob Dylan, or sandwiched somewhere midday in a packedfestival slate, roared back, seeming to say, “Don’t worry. Weremembered you.”