The Kings of Leon arrive in the North East of England as part of their world tour in support of new album WALLS.
The Followills are no strangers to the region, having been regular visitors to Tyneside for over a decade. During this time the band have played almost every venue in the city of Newcastle, from Northumbria University Student Union in 2004 to more recently St James’ Park football ground and pretty much everywhere in between.
This being the band’s most intimate show in the city in quite some time. It is therefore of no surprise that tonight’s show is a complete sell-out. It’s Friday night in Newcastle and the locals are in a party mood.
This evening the Kings of Leon deliver a two-hour career spanning set that covers all of the bases. The band takes to the stage shrouded in smoke and red light as they launch into a triple whammy of “The End”, “Slow Night, So Long” and the heavy rhythm and fuzz-fueled guitar riffs of “McFearless”. This, in turn, is promptly followed by the frantic “Four Kicks”.
Mid-set the band change things up and slow down the proceedings with a superb acoustic segment, which initially starts with Caleb stood alone and illuminated only by a single white spotlight as he delivers a beautiful rendition of the country-tinged number “The Runner”. Following which the rest of the band rejoin Caleb up front for “Comeback Story” from their last album Mechanical Bull.
Tonight’s show is all about the music, the Kings of Leon choose to not waste time with on stage banter but rather give the crowd what they want, two solid hours of music and an epic show spanning twenty-six songs and the Geordie audience is loving every moment of it. The band seem to be enjoying themselves just as much, Caleb telling the fans early on in the evening that ‘even after just ten songs, it’s already the show of the tour’.
The band’s astonishing stage production, which is complete with stunning visuals, seems to evolve as the evening progresses.
Roughly a third of tonight’s show comes from the band’s incredible latest album WALLS, with all but two songs from the record included in their set. However, the show doesn’t feel excessive on the new material, but rather these songs blend seamlessly with their timeless classics and greatest hits.
The material from WALLS sees a progression in the band’s sound since their early southern rock fueled days of Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak. This evolution has also resulted in the addition of two touring members Liam O’Neil (piano, keyboard, percussion) and Timothy Deaux (rhythm guitar, percussion, backing vocals) joining the band on the road, who each make an appearance in the second half of the set, as the stage set unfolds further during the course of the show to reveal them tucked away in the wings.
One obvious difference tonight from previous Kings of Leon shows is during “Conversation Piece” from their latest offering, Caleb meandering around the stage with just his microphone, leaving behind his trusty Gibson guitar for the duration of the number.
As the fans would want and expect all of the old favourites are there including the likes of “Molly’s Chambers”, “Sex On Fire” and “The Bucket” which each, in turn, whips the audience into a frenzy and almost blows the roof off the Metro Radio Arena. The crowd hangs on every word of “Pyro” and the anthemic “Use Somebody”, the room illuminated by the twinkling lights of cell phones as far as the eye can see. Truly a special moment indeed.
The band bring their marathon set to a close with the opening track from their new album – “Waste A Moment”. Tonight there is no false ending, and no encore, but rather the band leave the stage with a bang as a shower of confetti fills the room from canons adjacent to the stage. The scene is reminiscent of a New York City ticker-tape parade.
It is no surprise that tonight Caleb declares from the stage that Newcastle has been his ‘favourite show in a long time’. Judging by the response from the Tyneside audience this evening, the feeling is mutual.
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Event Date: 24-FEB-2017