One of the best bands in the world
Kings of Leon

Maybe it’s a sign that Nathan Followill’s almighty beard is taking root again that their performance tonight is tentative, because it seems the less hirsute they are – the better the music they play.

Their prompt set is blighted by sound problems as Caleb and Matthew Followill struggle to be heard alongside Nathan’s crushing, confident drum beats meaning too many of their songs are horribly reduced to a confusing din. A few rare highlight include a third outing for Ragoo – a sunny song that sounds incredibly tight despite the fact that given its natural momentum could easily run away from them. Even Caleb Followill gives a thumps up to sound techs offstage.

‘McFearless’ leaves you exhausted and wondering how Nathan churns out the massive, complicated drums whilst managing to look like he’s watching paint dry. A rare playing of Holy Roller Novocaine from their first EP results in joyous gospel-style clapping from the crowd while the sprawling, poignant beauty of one of the best tracks on their recent album, ‘Arizona’ and Matthew’s surging guitar are lost in the vacuity of the venue. It ends up sounding tinny.
A gloriously dirty, down-tempo version of Trani closes the set - Caleb’s distinctive, lazy drawl, the drums, looming bass and guitar all slowly converging, building up then exploding into the jittery guitar solo and old-fashioned hair-flailing is euphoric – even Jared Followill forgets he’s wearing Dior for a moment, completely freaks out and produces this otherworldly yelp that silences the crowd for a split second.

Despite possessing one of the best instruments in rock – that is, his voice – there is a lethargy about Caleb’s vocal performance tonight. He confesses to the crowd he is feeling “under the weather” but it’s not just that which is missing tonight. The band seems disjointed – and the thrill that their raucous rock’n’roll creates in the smaller venues they have played is a memory miles away from tonight.
Kings of Leon are one of the best bands in the world but tonight plagued by awful sound, a lifeless venue and ill health, they are lacklustre. Having been on tour with ‘Because Of The Times’ for a year, and no signs of stopping with a confirmed appearance at Oxygen 2008, they sound tired and bored. However, with a song like Trani, you could quite simply forgive these boys anything.

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