Kings of Leon Thursday, October 23, 2008 Fillmore Auditorium Photos by Chad Fahnestock
Better than: Fiery sex. Well, almost.
Kings of Leon had already plowed through seven songs before frontman Caleb Followill told the few thousand fans packed in the Fillmore that the dry air was really getting to him. “I’m doing my best up here,” he said.
Thing is, most of the people probably didn’t realize the singer might have been struggling a bit. Dude had been belting it out since the show’s muscular opener, “Sex on Fire,” and throughout “Molly’s Chambers,” “Taper Jean Girl” and “King of the Rodeo.” Followill seemed to be in fine form — well, up until the point that he announced that the dry air was getting to him. Then he got a drink of something and the band kicked into “Milk,” and he spit on the stage after singing “salty leave.” And still the singer forged on and the band fired up the crowd with three back-to-back rockers: “Four Killers,” “The Bucket” and “Use Somebody.”
After taking things down a notch with “On Call,” Followill commended the folks in the audience, saying they were doing a great job singing along.
“I’m gonna struggle on,” he said, “but I hope you guys are having a good time. I’m gonna at least get drunk with you.”
He downed a shot of booze and asked everyone to please sing along to “Closer,” which is the opening cut on the band’s latest release, Only by the Night. Before starting “Cold Desert,” Followill said that he really shouldn’t be singing the song since he would end up sounding like a hound dog, which he said was his favorite kind of dog. The guy made a noble effort on the song, and there were a few times where it sounded like he was straining his voice, but it was a far cry from sounding like a hound dog.
The Kings ramped up the energy level on “Charmer,” with Followill saying the gal was born in Colorado rather than in West Virginia, which is the case on the Because of the Times version. After closing the set with “Slow Night, So Long,” the group came back to the stage and knocked out “Knocked Up.”
“The first time we played Colorado, we said we’d never play Colorado again because they didn’t get our music,” Followill said just before the band launched into “Manhattan.”
Those Coloradans who were there no doubt “got” their music. And judging from all the fist pumping and singing along, they not only got it, it seemed like they sure fucking loved it, man.
Critic’s Notebook Personal bias: I gotta give props to Caleb Followill for sticking it out through 19 songs. Random notes: Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill blew bubbles with his gum throughout most of the set. By the Way: The Stills and We Are Scientists both delivered energetic sets.
Sex on Fire My Party Razz Molly’s Chambers Taper Jean Girl King of the Rodeo Fans Milk Four Kicks The Bucket Use Somebody On Call Closer Cold Desert Charmer Slow Night, So Long
Knocked up Manhattan Crawl