King of Leon - Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Sun 26 Jun 2011
- David Pollock
- 21 July 2011
The family Followill show big love for their legion of fans, and vice versa
Kings of Leon, once the hard-partyin’, country-rockin’ good ol’ boys that your Regular Joe indie fan liked too, have gone over to the other side. There’s no coming back – big halls and cult success have given way to rugby stadia and those thousands of hardcore afternoon drinkers left bereft since Oasis shot their long overdue bolt. This, at least, was a show that lived up to the communal expectations of the Followill brothers’ sea of new admirers. Adulation greeted the songs everyone knows (the ambience of an Eastern European football match was recreated with a couple of red signal flares during ‘Fans’), and the ones they don’t at least sounded agreeably like all the rest.
Highlights included singer Caleb – rocking a Thor-like beard and ponytail – warmly dedicating ‘Birthday’ to his brother Nathan on his own birthday, and appearing genuinely stunned by the ‘awesome audience’ after ‘Notion’, the midway turning point between pleasing build-up and a pounding race to the finish by way of familiar hits like ‘California Waiting’, ‘Molly’s Chambers’, ‘On Call’ and, of course, ‘Sex on Fire’. Inevitably the Kings’ new-found populist appeal will attract some sneers of derision, but this looked very much like a show that revelled in delivering a likable group to new heights on their own terms.