Kings of Leon - Chula Vista CA - March 22, 2014
Sometimes after a steady of diet of indie rock concerts it’s nice to have a big old rawk show to cleanse the palette. On this night Kings of Leon was the main course and they did not disappoint!
I have seen KOL twice before, the first time was in 2005 when they opened for U2 right after Aha Shake Heartbreak had been released. It would seem that most members of the audience, including us, that were there early enough to catch the start of the set, had not heard of Kings of Leon and weren’t really paying attention. However, as each song started more and more of the crowd wised up that something was going on up on the stage. By the half-way point the arena was filling up and everyone was paying attention to the racket made by this young band. I remember saying to my wife that we better remember this early show cuz this band’s going to be big.
The next time I saw them, again with my wife, was on the Only by the Night tour in 2009. It was just 4 years later but in that time they went from being a support band to selling out 20,000 seat sheds on their own. We had ok seats but we lucked out and got some wristbands from some other concert goers and were able to go right up to the stage to watch the second half of the set. They still had that youthful energy and raw talent but now they had some great songs to go along with it.
This time around was especially fun since I got tickets for my 12 year old son, my wife, both daughters and a buddy that I’ve been going to concerts with since 1975.
During KOL’s extended break they must have been practicing a lot because they are a TIGHT band now. The songs still rock, as always, but the playing was much better than I remembered in their previous sets. And the sound, for being a big outdoor theater, was fantastic.
Even more impressive was the stage and light show that went along with the music. KOL has never been shy about borrowing from U2 but this time out they took a cue from their stage presentation as well. Without distracting us from the music, they presented a visual feast with lights, special effects and a huge HD screen. The band members themselves were dimly lit, with no spotlights - just four guys rocking out with a massive spectacle going on all around them.
This was my son’s first rock concert ever and apparently he enjoyed the experience since as soon as it was over the first thing he said was, “so dad, when’s the next show?!”