Saturday, 20 December 2008

Gig Review - Kings of Leon- Bournemouth International Centre 14/12/08

A normal Sunday for people in Bournemouth would usually consist of a poor attempt at a roast dinner, students desperately trying to start and finish the assignment due midday on Monday or a night in watching Coronation Street. But this was no ordinary Sunday, this was the day that Followill fever hit Bournemouth in a big way.

The South American four-piece began their astounding almost two-hour set at 8.45pm, following support from M83 – a French electro band that arguably received less audience encouragement than their talent would warrant. Although, judging by the crowd’s intoxicating hysteria on the first strum of a recognisable chord sequence from Kings of Leon - impatience and anticipation may have had a lot to do with the seeming dismissal of the support.

Kings of Leon have been propelled into the mainstream since the release of their last two albums at a rate that their chequered shirts and newly short do’s could barely keep up with. Yet, unlike the fickle scene-chasing fans of many other bands of the genre, the self-professed Kings of the Rodeo’s fan base which have been there since the beginning have stood proudly, like parents watching their child achieve their ambitions – something that the band are appreciative of, later telling their sea-side audience “It’s fans like you who keep us doing this”.

This was also demonstrated by the set list; entwining tracks from all four of their impressively diverse albums into their set. Starting things with ‘Closer’ and the bass-heavy ‘Crawl’ before the renowned ‘Kings of the Rodeo’, meant a crowd of hysterical fans dancing like their lives depended on it…with the occasional over-zealous crowd surfer being dragged out by security of course.

Four songs in and lead singer and guitarist, Caleb Followill, followed the typically epic ‘Molly’s Chamber’ with a brief belated introduction: “We’re Kings of Leon”. Greeted by an uproar of applause from fans hugely appreciative of the refreshingly humble approach for a band that, in 2008, need no introduction.

Whilst bassist and many a female fan favourite, Jared Followill, spent a lot of the show with this back to the audience, he turned to lend his vocals to chart topping ‘Use Somebody’ and to demonstrate his bass prowess on tracks like ‘Sex on Fire’. The musical ability of Kings of Leon is something that prevails in a way that leaves even the most fickle of music fans questioning how they possible stayed under the radar for so long. Guitar riffs and Caleb’s raspy vocals tugged at the hairs on the back of everyone’s necks amongst an atmosphere of fans clearly having the time of their lives.

And the perfect end to the perfect show? A four song encore. Leaving the audience to work themselves up into a frenzy for five minutes and to allow Caleb to no doubt consume as much Evian as his bladder capacity would allow after an immense performance of ‘Trani’, the band returned to play ‘Knocked Up’, the show-stopping ‘Charmer’, ‘Slow Night So Long’ and ‘Black Thumbnail’.

If only all Sundays were like this.

Set List:

Kings of the Rodeo
Joe’s Head
Molly’s Chamber
Four Kicks
Pistol of Fire
Wasted Time
Sex on Fire
The Bucket
Use Somebody
My Party
Cold Desert
Encore – Knocked Up, Charmer, Slow Night So Long, Black Thumbnail

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