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Kings Of Leon Gig Review

Sophia Aiello feels the noise and sees a high kick at Old Trafford Cricket Ground

Written by . Published on June 20th 2011.

Kings Of Leon Gig Review

IF YOU had asked me a few years ago what I thought of Kings of Leon, I would have said they were probably one of the best bands on the planet. Their music was loud, edgy, dirty rock n roll. They looked great too - their haircuts were unkempt and they oozed indie cool.

Even though these newer songs weren’t my preference, their musicianship couldn’t be faulted. Whatever the album, they still bang out a tune with great ferocity and the rowdy crowd lapped it up.

After last seeing them playing live in front of a half filled Manchester Apollo in 2005, I left thinking it was easily one of the best gigs I'd ever been to. Although not having much chart success at the time in their homeland of the USA, they were slowly gathering momentum in the UK and Europe.

Today they’re considered to be one of the biggest bands in the world - on par with the likes of U2 and Coldplay - filling out stadiums, generating number one albums and even marrying supermodels. Ask me now if I still think they are one of the best bands around and my answer would be no.

Kings Of Leon then...Kings Of Leon then...Lyrically, their songs still have a very similar sexual content, but the music itself has toned down and become chart friendly. Some may call this music snobbery, but when comparing their first two albums with the last three, the music has lost its rawness and unique appeal. Their look has also changed dramatically. Hairstyles are now short and slicked back and vintage plaid shirts have been replaced with Dior suits.

But judging by the huge crowds who turned up to watch them on Sunday at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, I am obviously in the minority who don’t prefer this now polished rock band.

Luckily for me though, the gig kicked off with old classics such as 'Four kicks',  ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak’ and 'Bucket' and continued with other hits such as 'Molly's Chamber’ and 'California Waiting'. The rest of the gig was filled with the band’s more recent offerings from their fourth album Only By The Night and their most recent album Come Around Sundown - which most people there seemed to prefer. Even though these newer songs weren’t my preference, their musicianship couldn’t be faulted. Whatever the album, they still bang out a tune with great ferocity and the rowdy crowd lapped it up.

I say rowdy, as having already been to a couple of gigs at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, it’s always the same. Boozed up from a full day of drinking followed by sporadic bouts of violence, the atmosphere at the cricket ground can often be tense. Kings of Leon was no exception, with the security team kept busy with a few individuals seemingly there for a bit of a dust up.

Kings Of Leon now...Kings Of Leon now...Some bizarre ritual mating behaviour was spotted too, with one woman making her intentions towards one man quite well known audibly before trying to high kick him in the head several times to get his attention. It worked though and they were dancing around together by the end of the third song. Those two and the rest of the crowd hung onto every word the lead singer drawled.

Kings of Leon have come a long way since their gig at the Apollo in 2005 and will now struggle to find venues big enough to satisfy ticket demand. All in all, it was a very loud and proud gig and despite having ‘sold out’ in my opinion, luckily for them it hasn’t affected their ability to sell out stadiums.

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Dave MartinJune 20th 2011.

I've been to plenty of gigs there which were very civilised affairs (Mozzer, Muse, even the Foo Fighters was lively but never threatening) but from comments of people I know who went it was even more lairy than the Arctic Monkeys, which was about the worst I've ever seen. Agree with you about how they've gone downhill since the 2nd album and I was at the Apollo that night too. It's not the way I thought they would develop - their unique roots shone though in the earlier material and now seems gone.

GJune 22nd 2011.

The grown up, polished look actually grew on me! I was kind of getting sick of the edgy-dirty look anyway. KOL have long way and are still amazing as ever live.

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