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Monday, May 26, 2008

Concert Review: Kings of Leon, 2007

Kings of Leon, Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, June 13, 2007

Originally published at

For one night, the Kings of Leon were the kings of the Newport. They rocked, they rolled, and they played their hearts out. And the sold out crowd loved every single second of it; singing along with every song, clapping with the beat, smiling and laughing throughout the show.

The Kings seem somewhat shy onstage. Very little banter between songs, no excessive showboating by any of the members of the band. The most that Caleb Followill said to the crowd was that this was their last show for this tour, before a two-week break. The rest of their roughly hour and 45 minute set was devoted to the music, and the fans appreciated it greatly.

While the Kings are more famous on the other side of the Atlantic, often hailed by the British music press as “the best band from America in years,” there was no sign at the Newport to make one think they aren’t just as loved here. More than 1200 people packed the venerable concert hall, mostly young, stylish, college folk. Many of the young women wore heels, many of the young men wore girl pants. But all showed their love for the Kings music in the same ways. Singing along with On Call, Molly’s Chambers, California Waiting, The Bucket, among many others.
The outstanding moment of the night happened at the end of the first set, before the encore. Caleb was playing his guitar so fast that his strumming hand was a complete blur. His guitar pick flew out of his hand into the front row of the crowd, however, he never even paused; continuing to play with his thumb for another full minute before the song ended when he smashed the microphone stand down to the stage floor. I couldn't tell if his hand was bleeding, but i have to imagine it was.
If you don’t understand the hubbub surrounding the Kings of Leon; see them live, before they start playing arena’s and stadiums. You’ll come away with a much more profound appreciation of the band. I went to this concert with no sympathy for the band or their music at all, but came away wishing the show hadn't ended.

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