As evidenced by the picture on the left, I'm pretty much convinced that the technicians who designed the Blackberry camera did not have concert goers in mind when they conceived these little contraptions. Anyway, in that blurry and muddled image is Kings Of Leon performing on stage at NJ's Izod Center this past Saturday. This was my third time seeing the band and the first time seeing them in a large arena. I own and love all four of their albums, but have to say that this band, in my opinion, is just not an arena act. Sure they have the sales figures and the radio airplay and the songs were all executed well, but the band doesn't have the presence or the personality to really work a crowd that large. The James Hetfield's, Dave Grohl's and Billie Joe Armstrong's of the world can whip large crowds into a frenzy and connect to everyone from the people in the front row to the folks sitting in the nosebleed sections. Caleb Followill does not have that energy or charisma. Kings Of Leon got some fancy lights, set up a couple amps, came out and knocked a few songs out with little banter between songs. I'm not saying that is the worst thing in the world, but it certainly made it an incredibly easy decision to leave before the encore and beat the masses to public transportation. There was no electricity in the air that was making me feel like I was going to miss something explosive if I left early. The uber-wasted collegiate crowd seemed to enjoy the show a lot though (well, maybe not so much the drunk girl who got carried out on a stretcher with a leg/ankle/foot injury of some sort), but I think they would have thought just about anything was awesome based on the levels of intoxication we were witness to.
Kings Of Leon are playing the Austin City Limits Festival next month, which I will be attending, as the closer on Friday evening. After seeing this performance, I don't think I'll be sticking around for their set. I'd much rather get back to my hotel, take a shower and make sure to get over to Emo's in time to see Deer Tick who I know for fact totally kick ass live. Another factor working against Kings Of Leon is that they are following Them Crooked Vultures and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, both of whom I have never seen live before, but I can't imagine their energy won't make KOL seem like a bit of a snooze fest.
All that being said, I still love the band, but I think I'll stick to listening to them on my iPod, on a bar stereo system or in the comfort of my own home as opposed to shelling out money to see them live.
"Sex On Fire":