It’s Monday morning. My voice hasn’t yet returned to its former glory (probably quite a relief for many!) and my calves ache from jumping up and down like Tigger on crack for nearly two solid hours. I have a major case of the post-awesome-gig blues.
Saturday night was the culmination of a very long wait to see the Kings of Leon play live. And not just the “I bought my tickets in December and they were supposed to play in March but postponed to October” kind of long wait. Oh no.
I first tried to get tickets to see KOL when they were playing Dublin in 2007. The tickets sold out faster than I could say “let’s go see Kings of Leon” and we ended up seeing Stereophonics instead. Good, but not quite the same. Then, the following year, KOL were in Dublin….I was in Kerry. I was in Dublin…KOL was in Belfast. It was a logistical snafu of the highest order and the only way I could cheer myself up slightly was by the fact that Only by the Night had just exploded and every radio station was playing Use Somebody, Sex on Fire and Revelry everywhere I went. I think I got more than my share of odd looks in Dunnes (kind of like a b-grade version of Woolies) as I stood captivated by some random fashion show video they had on loop which happened to have KOL as the soundtrack. Tough times.
When 5fm said last year they had a big concert to announce, I just knew my time had come. It was going to be Kings of Leon. Surely I deserved it. And when a friend phoned me at work to let me know it was indeed KOL that would be gracing our shores, I screamed and did a little dance in my office. Luckily people were used to me getting all hopped up on gig excitement. The postponement was a disappointment but I took it in my stride. This was meant to be – 2011 was the year I was finally going to get to see the Kings.
Needless to say, when Saturday dawned, I had some minor concerns that perhaps by this point I had built the concert up to such epic proportions in my head, there was no way those poor Followill boys could deliver. No need to fear. It was incredible. There will be some people who complain that the band was ‘boring’ or didn’t interact with the audience enough. I think there are three kinds of bands – those who pull out all the stops on stage in terms of energy and production, but don’t necessarily back this up with quality song performance, those who forego the bells and whistles and just deliver their songs in the most beautiful way they can, and those who manage to combine the two for a spectacular performance. In my opinion, KOL falls into the second category. I knew going in that the big fancy show is not really how the Kings roll, and I’m ok with that. I love their music and that’s what I paid to see – four guys from Nashville playing their hearts out. Could Caleb have engaged with the audience more? Sure, but at the end of the day it’s his songs I’m interested in, not another lead vocalist telling me that *insert city name here* is the best venue he’s ever played. The Kings are understated in their delivery and their sincerity is evident with every note. I was in heaven. In fact, I fear I may end up on youtube, as the people in front of me kept filming me singing and jumping up and down. Awkward. The band played a great mix of old and new material, and if I have any complaint it is that they pandered too much to a gig tourist crowd (who frankly annoyed the hell out of me by pretty much ignoring the band until Sex on Fire was played) by playing more songs off Only by the Night than any other album. But even the annoying jocks couldn’t ruin my high, and the night was everything I had been waiting for for so long.
Sadly they couldn’t play forever, and I’m slowly coming down from my high. I suspect it’ll be a while before I can get my fix again, but in the meantime, there’s always their new documentary, Talihina Sky, to look forward to…and if I’m really lucky, maybe they’ll play in Dublin in January.