Kings of Leon: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

When I first heard that Kings of Leon were headlining the worlds most famous arena, I have to confess I did a double take.  Was this not the same band that only a few months ago were playing Webster Hall to an eager-but-miniscule crowd?  Well, the pretty boys pulled it off and rocked out while having a sold out fan base in its grips.  Caleb Followill remarked that KoL “have one of the last true fan bases in Rock and Roll.”  While that rather lofty declaration is up for debate, what is indisputable is the crowd’s reaction: pure adulation. 


Playing through their entire catalog from Holy Roller Novocain to the arena rock tribute album Only by the Night, KoL ran through their catalog.  Highlights were “Milk”, “Sex on Fire”, “Revelry” and “Black Thumbnail” during the main set and, as a shout out to the island hosting them; they cut into “Manhattan” in the encore.  Removed from the music, one of the more interesting aspects to the Kings’ set had to be the spotlights, highlighting the brothers-Followill on drums, bass and lead vocals/guitar, while their cousin Matthew, on lead guitar, remained in the shadows.  A strange setup that was made even stranger when, post-encore, the three bowed on stage while Matthew left….your humble reviewer is not trying to start drama, but it was a weird sight. 


All in all, while they could certainly fill MSG, the room may have been too big for them as the sound seemed to dissipate as the set progressed; “Cold Desert” and “Trani” were a bit weak and didn’t work as closers.  Kings of Leon are a big time rock band that will hopefully feel more at home when they play here next tour. 

My Party
Molly’s Chambers
Four Kicks
Wasted Time
Sex on Fire
Slow Light So Long
The bucket
Black Thumbnail
On Call
Use Somebody
Cold Desert

Knocked Up

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