Weekday shows are always an interesting moment of music madness. What exactly brings people out on a weekday? What draw are people so pulled by that they leave their routine, stay up way too late, all for a few hours of music? Well, we may not have the answers, but whatever the secret is Kings of Leon have harnessed it well. Playing on a Monday night at Genting Arena the band put on a lightning show. Split into what seemed like three parts Kings of Leon played a two-hour set that took the audience on an emotional roller coaster, leaving us both breathless and exhausted.
After indie rock group Wild Nothing lulled the crowd with their passive beauty, Kings of Leon ripped open the stage with first hit “The End.” The mid tempo alt rock song continued the indie vibes from the opener, but had a bit more punch to it. As the band played bathed under the red lights and smoke it seemed like a phoenix was rising from the ashes, about to dominate and transform the familiar space. “Slow Night, So Long” rolled next from the speakers. This song has a more traditional opening song feel; upbeat and lively the song had the crowd dancing and excited. As songs “McFearless” and “Four Kicks” set in the concert began to take shape; the band played on the front half of the stage, so it felt intimate. The songs where upbeat and high energy, and so their was a great output by both bands and fans. The excitement was palpable and despite being in an arena, the show felt personal and exciting, like a house party of sorts.
As we danced in our seats and in the pit the quick drums and gravely voice pulled us into a swaying lull. Songs like “Muchacho” and “Over” melded rock with an outlaw sensibility, giving an edge to the otherwise approachable form of rock that Kings of Leon produces. Up to this point it seemed like a very typical rock show; the band played tune after turn without conversational interruption. While they where placed close to the stage, their still seemed to be some sort of separation between band and fans. The music was driving and upbeat, we all danced and enjoyed ourselves, and then a shift happened.
“Sex on Fire,” one of the bands more popular singles from early albums, absolutely revolutionized the crowd. Once swaying and dancing, the crowd was now feverously clawing to get close to the stage. The band sang with such ferocity that their entire beings embodied every dripping chord. It was a momentum shift that engulfed that entire where in the arena. Then the curtain lowered, and the band walked away. An acoustic set followed the rock introduction. “The Runner,” “Comeback Story, and “WALLS” where all played in a simplistic acoustic fashion that felt a bit folk. The stripped down tunes created an emotionally raw and vulnerable undertone to the band. This was genius for what before felt like a separated band now became a closely connected and visible leader. As the booming voices of the band twinkled around the room people began to meld into only glob, one single entity. Crafting the set in such a way, to have an emotional ebb and swell, brought out this perfect mixture of rock and romance.
The acoustic set only lasted a few songs, and after the band disappeared. Curtains dropped, and the entire stage opened up. Kings of Leon started the show on a half stage, but they ended their set with a full stage and insane visual effects. It was a rebirthing of the band, from old rock to acoustic to full-blown rock gods. As the stage opened and the lights grew in production, the sound echoed with bolder instrumentals and louder vocals. Songs like “Radioactive,” “The Immortals,” and “Supersokaer” echoed through the arena in deafening destruction. Each song brought more and more energy, with both fans and band fully immersed in every hand rising moment. In synchronized nods the band hypnotized every person in euphoric energy, a true rock show. The third part of their set lasted for over an hour, an unfathomable excursion into the bombastic music that Kings of Leon continuously create.
After almost two hours of playing the band finally ended with hits “Use Somebody” and “Around the World.” By the end of the show fans and band where drenched in sweat, breathing heavily from the exuberant outpour of emotion and energy. The Kings of Leon three-prong show brought the audience on an emotional and music journey that was so incredibly well crafted that it defied reality. Time was lost, sense of self was lost, but music was found. In what can only be understood as a top notch professional rock show Kings of Leon enraptured and enraptured fans, a show that will certainly be remembered for some time.
Kings of Leon Set List:
Slow Night, So Long
Eyes on You
Sex on Fire
Waste a Moment
Around the World.
Review by Kylie McCormick