REVIEW – KINGS OF LEON
@Metro Radio Arena 24th February 2017
Jack Tatum’s Wild Nothing is a project that sums up the hard working attitude and troubadour lifestyle that makes music such an encompassing business.
It’s almost a year since the release of the third Wild Nothing album, and Jack and his cronies have not taken time for breath since. Over the last twelve months, the Virginia born artist has been all over the States, mainland Europe and now links up with Kings of Leon for their UK and European arena tour.
To say the Fallowill’s choose a worthy opening act is an understatement. Tatum’s soft, but uplifting style brilliantly combines indie pop, post punk / shoegazing revivalism and soft melodic rock music in a unique way that can breathe life into an audience. This is exactly what happened of Friday evening at the Metro Radio Arena as tracks like Shadow and Live in Dreams got shoulders shaking and heads bobbing, before the main act came to the stage.
Arriving on stage shrowded in a red spoke, the Tennessee foursome wasted no time getting started, cutting through the haze with bass heavy The End. This mysterious approach remained until the third track McFearless, which funnily enough was around the point the audience really sprung into life as well.
With a nostalgia filled opening that included tracks from their early albums, the band slowed it down with one of the best and most heartfelt tracks from their brilliant new album Walls – Muchacho. The track itself focuses on the death of a close friend of the band, and the strain and emotion in Caleb’s vocals was there to see. But, this honest track only went to show the incredible strength of his vocals as he captivated the arena, reaching every corner of its rafters.
By the time Molly’s Chambers kicked in, the audience were eating out of the palm of Caleb’s hand. The rugged Texan may not waste time with chitter chatter on stage, letting the music do the talking, and this rip roaring classic showed that, as he belted out the muffled vocals in a track led by Jared’s thunderous drumming.
As the set reached its mid-way point, the troops went for a breather and Caleb took centre stage with his acoustic axe, and pretty much stole the show. It’s not often a singer can make an arena feel like an intimate dive bar, and make you feel like he is singing directly to you – only you. But, that’s exactly what Caleb did with The Runner, the song which must surely go down as the song of the night.
He was soon join by his band members centre stage, as the four of them stood in a row and performed Comeback Story and Walls, before the show exploded back into life with Find Me.
From this point onwards, they went full throttle. Fans were treated to an array of early tracks like Radioactive, Closer and Waste A Moment, along with a few new ones mixed in. This brilliantly balanced set list keep the audience focused throughout, but the biggest reaction of the night came from the usual suspects – the fan splitting Sex on Fire and Use Somebody.
Say what you want about these tracks, but the truth is you can’t help but sing along. Kings of Leon are one of the few bands who have managed to gain fans from rock, pop and punk backgrounds, and even pick up a few chavs along the way – and every one of them belted out the lyrics of these hit singles.
Kings of Leon really are a classy act, and the excitement of their live shows is a spectacle to behold.
Northumbria University Journalism graduate, rock and roll enthusiast and co-editor of RUSHONROCK.com.