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Kings of Leon turn the Avalon into a rip-roaring roadhouse

Avalon Ballroom
Boston, Massachusetts


It was an auspicious way to begin a night, to say the least. I use the word “night” rather loosely. The Kings of
Leon show in Boston would be at the Avalon Ballroom on Lansdowne St., which converts to a dance club at
10 p.m. That means that the opening band, Helio Sequence, took the stage around 6:30 with the headliners
scheduled for 8.

After running out of work just before 4 p.m. and getting on the road around 4:30, it then took nearly three hours for
my fellow Static and Feedbackers and I to wind our way through rush hour and the detoured, big-dug streets of
Boston. Despite all the frustration, we arrived at the venue about 10 minutes before the Kings began. Just
enough time to grab a beer and weasel our ways toward the front of the stage. And in about 10 seconds and two
chords, the bad taste was washed from our mouths. These guys turned the club into a stomping barroom.
The family Followill — Caleb, Matthew, Nathan and Jared — are a rock n' stomp machine
Molly's Chambers
Taper Jean Girl
Pistol Of Fire
Wasted Time
The Bucket
Four Kicks
Velvet Snow
King of the Rodeo
Joe's Head
California Waiting
Spiral Staircase
Happy Alone
Holy Roller Novocaine
Head to Toe
Slow Night, So Long
Looking like four kids who discovered rock late and never let go, which is
how it happened for the brothers and cousin Followill, Kings of Leon
quietly strolled onstage, picked up their guitars and launched into a tough,
bass-heavy version of “Molly’s Chambers,” maybe their best-known song.
It set a rough-n-ready vibe for the rest of the show, and proved that they
were completely comfortable with the task at hand. Kings of Leon, in the
past couple of years, have proven themselves to be one of the meanest
rock bands in the land, playing confident, furious sets drenched in sweat.

The Kings roared through their set. Never moving around too much, save
for some head-nodding and teeth-gritting, the band held a composure
that spoke almost as loudly as their amps. Matthew Followill looks like a
young Keith Richards onstage, biting down on his cigarette and beaming
during his solos. Caleb is sturdy at his vocal position, wandering around
to see what Nathan is cooking up on the skins. All the while, Jared was
bobbing up a vicious storm with his head, all while anchoring the
booming sound with his bass. No cutesy showmanship, just a burning
desire to rip through their numbers with as much volume as possible.

The crowd ate it up. There were bodies flying overhead in the front. Fans
were screaming along to “Wasting Time” and clapping in the break on
“Spiral Staircase.” For the closer, the mellower “Trani,” the band slowed
the frantic tempo down only to rev up the song’s outro, made complete by
a nice little mic stand toss by Calib.
After a brief stop, the band returned, muttering a “thank you” and launching into the night’s highlight — a
thundering version of “Holy Roller Novocaine.” The dark, cryptic closing track to their debut, Youth and Young
Manhood, sent the crowd to an all-new frenzy. The band really cut loose physically from “Spiral Staircase” on,
bouncing and writhing about the stage.

Considering the collective age of this band, the oldest at 26 and the youngest still a year away from drinking, it’s
truly impressive how tight (and exhausting) their set is. They matched the intensity of their two albums with ease.

They’re genuine throwbacks in the best way. They’re a rock and roll hurricane, and, for old time’s sake, they blew
disco out of the water one more time.

Check out Kings of Leon at