Kings Of Leon Mechanical Bull Tour
By Lesa Browning
Family Rock N Roll band Kings Of Leon made a stop in the Sacramento area last week playing the Wheatland Sleep Train Arena. The group is made up of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill and cousin Matthew Followill. Kings Of Leon gets their name from from that of their grandfather and is ofter referred to as just KOL. Formed way back in 1999 the band first found success in Europe and is known for their garage style of rock n’ roll that clearly appeals to a broad age range. After being on hiatus since November of 2011, they are now wrapping up a US tour in support of their sixth album, Mechanical Bull. This very talented family is traveling with both Young The Giant and another family band, KONGOS. This Indian summer night would find the venue packed, the energy level high and new fans to be gained for the openers.
The Wheatland Sleep Train is a great concert venue once you get inside, but it can sometimes be difficult to actually get there. Traffic can get backed up and lines just to enter the parking lot can be long. We were lucky to have Live Nation VIP tickets to this show so that once we FINALLY reached the parking attendant, we were able to park quite close and walk directly into a special gate, avoiding the long check in process. Even with the VIP treatment, I could hear the opening sounds of KONGOS as I entered the venue. I was almost jogging to the entrance of the floor section while looking around at all the people just casually standing around NOT in their seats! I had to remind myself that these folks were here for Kings Of Leon and likely don’t know KONGOS, so they had no idea what they were missing. I sort of wanted to scream “Hey guys, get in there, this is going to be good!” But I restrained myself and just jogged on in casually to my nice row 3 center seat that had absolutely no one in front or behind me. I had a great view of the opening band and actually felt a little silly. Having followed KONGOS for the past year it was like listening to some of my favorite music and wondering why all these boring people in the arena were sitting around blank faced. Oh well. KONGOS were great, they always are. Currently touring to promote their current album Lunatic, they played most of their popular singles including I’m Only Joking and Come with me Now. As the crowd slowly trickled in towards the end of the band’s 35 minute set I heard lots of mumbling of “they are good” and “what is this band again?” as those completely unfamiliar with the energetic rockers took notice and unconsciously bobbed their heads to the beat. I highly recommend you check out this amazingly talented group of brothers originally from South Africa, currently living in Arizona. You can find their website listed below.
Next up we had Indie Rockers Young The Giant. Young The Giant is a diverse group of young guys from Southern California who formed the band in 2004 originally under the name The Jakes. In 2009 the band was reworked and became Young The Giant . They are currently promoting their second studio album, Mind Over Matter. The band has a VERY enthusiastic young fan base and they certainly made themselves known. The fans went crazy singing every word of the most popular hits such as Cough Syrup and Apartment. Both the band and their fans were a lot of fun. (Young The Giant first came to my attention because my own tween daughter is one of their enthusiastic fans) Front man Sameer Gadhia never stops moving and is great to watch as well as to listen to. The interaction between Gadhia and the drummer Francois Comtois was really quite a show in itself at times. For being fairly young, these guys have tremendous stage presence and do a great job getting the audience excited about everything they do. Even the “older” crowd that was clearly new to this band was happy to participate. In fact, there was a couple seated directly next to us who I watched not only dance along but at one point sing with the rest of the Young The Giant Fans. After the enter concert was over I heard him tell his wife “well, that second band was really not my thing…” Overall, this was another fine choice as an opening act to get the crowd fired up for Kings Of Leon. Check out Young The Giant on their website listed below.
We did not have long to wait for the main attraction. Kings Of Leon took the stage with a cool confidence. They have a vibe that sort of screams “yeah, we know we are cool” in a fun but never cocky way. The stage was very decked out. Huge screens as a backdrop projected images that at times could only be described as art. The camera work that was projected upon the screens was well choreographed. The lights, flash and smoke all came together to make the stage impressive. Combined with the high energy music that poured out for nearly two hours by these guys, this was one impressive show. KOL has so many hits, too many to list really, and they played a ton of them. As they often have on this tour, they opened with the ever popular Super Soaker and it was received with cheers from the crowd as they sang along. In fact the multi generational crowd sang along much of the night. The “song of the city” would be Wasted Time and this, we were told, was the the first time it had been played live since 2010. Use Somebody and Wait For Me were huge fan favorites as well. It was obvious that the KOL fans had waited a long time to see the band back on tour and they enjoyed every minute of the well played show.
Check out the music and future tour dates of all the above artists on their websites and social media.
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