Thursday, 1 July 2010

Kings of Leon, Hyde Park, 30/6/10

There's nothing better than booking some exciting gig tickets, looking forward to it for months, waiting for the date to slowly tick round. But managing to scavenge a ticket just a couple of days before the gig and having the excitement thrust upon you all at once ain't half bad either. With doors at 2.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon, it also provides a major plus to being currently out of work (though just don't mention the matter of trying to pay for the pricey ticket).

To be fair, there was a lot of music for your money, as KoL were supported by The Features, The Whigs, The Drums and The Black Keys (my friend had mistakenly thought it was the Black Eyed Peas...not sure if 'I Gotta Feelin' ' would've gone down so well in this crowd). The Features are signed to the Kings of Leon's partly owned label 'Imprint', and The Whigs previously supported the guys on the 'Only By The Night' tour, so it's a pretty friendly outfit. Hotly tipped band, The Drums, gave a solid performance of their laid back quirky rock, big hit 'Let's Go Surfing' was a particular high point. Finally, The Black Keys, whose latest album 'Brothers' has caused a bit of a stir, also got the crowd going, but seemed to leave behind the material from the six (six!) previous albums which any die hard fans may have found a little disappointing.

On to the headliners, I'd had a niggling worry in the back of my mind all day before these guys came on stage after hearing somewhat underwhelming things about their headlining performance at Reading last year. Luckily, it seems Hyde Park agrees with them. Frontman Caleb Followill was pretty chatty, clearly humbled by the size of the concert they'd managed to sell out. He even went as far to say that the gig was one of the best experiences of his life. Bless. There were definite advantages to seeing them in between album promotions as the guys played a fairly even mix between all four of their albums - releases and album tracks - as well as a handful of new songs that still have working titles 'Immortals', 'Radioactive' and 'Southbound', which made the forthcoming album seem pretty tempting. Adding to this the fact that they played a cheeky cover of The Pixies' 'Where Is My Mind', which went down very well, a good time was had by all. The one let down, due to no fault of the band, was their performance of 'Sex On Fire' - the song that catapulted them to mainstream international stardom has now been so overplayed, taken over by radio stations like Heart FM, and found it's way into even my mother's musical just doesn't have the same effect it once did when it was released a couple of years ago. But I can't go getting into the problems of bands becoming 'too successful' right now...

Here's the Kings of Leon set list:
'Taper Jean Girl'
'My Party'
'Be Somebody'
'Molly's Chambers'
'4 Kicks'
'The Bucket'
'Where Is My Mind?'
'Sex On Fire'
'On Call'

'Knocked Up'
'Use Somebody'
'Black Thumbnail'