THE Kings (of Leon)
by Laura Melvin
Dancing to a good concert is like good sex: you use the best in your repertoire, you don’t dance around with a lot of useless moves, and you finish feeling satisfied and a little like your legs are made of jell-o. In keeping with this analogy, the Kings of Leon made passionate, sweaty love to—and maybe stole some virginities of—a sold out crowd at GM Place Saturday night in the first of two Vancouver shows.
KoL did a solid hour and a half set of both old and new songs, effectively dehydrating and exhausting the crowd by the time they made for the exits. With four albums under their belts—including the most recent installment in their discography, Only By The Night—the band had a long list of songs to choose from. To those of us who have been following the Kings for years, we wanted a throwback to the earlier songs that first introduced them to us. To newer fans, the older songs revealed some KoL history, introducing the newbies to the band’s first three albums and only strengthening KoL’s avid following. The boys were smart and made sure that their most recent hits like “Notion”, “Use Somebody”, and “Sex on Fire” made it into the set list, which fans, old and new, much appreciated. No matter what song was played, there was always a good portion of the crowd that knew the words. At some points, lead singer Caleb Followill felt no need to sing—the crowd did it for him.
The stage setup was simple, but effective: A decent light show and four big screens that flashed between shots of the band and graphics gave movement to the performance. In terms of actual the band’s movement, they aren’t particularly lively. They’re not jumping around on stage, climbing on speakers, diving into the audience. But, they still know how to excite a crowd. KoL makes up for their minimal movement with passionate vocals and vigorous instrumentation. That sweat on their brows is from pure talent and intensity rather than a sprint across stage. These boys from Tennessee are about the music, not doing some cardio.