Live Review: Kings Of Leon – Liverpool

Kings Of Leon

Liverpool Echo Arena, February 2017

Words & Photos: Elena Katrina

kings of leon elena katrinaAny time Kings Of Leon decide to play a show or do a tour in the UK there’s a massive frenzy for tickets, without fail. There’s good reason for it too, they are just one of the best live bands and they are quite clever with their touring schedule – I can’t actually even remember the last time they toured but it feels like an age ago.

This tour has a bit of a theme going on, it’s literally been put together as though it were a play, with the set list reading; Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3. Each set designed to build upon the last and heading toward a massive crescendo.  There is even set design which includes a gloriously plush looking dark red theatre curtain, not any old curtain, but sumptuously swagged. It was quite the thing of beauty really. Act 1 it opened to reveal the Nashville  four-piece, who of course came onto the stage to huge rapturous  applause from the sold out crowd of the Echo Arena. And of course they, as only they can, kicked off their gargantuan 26 song long live set with The End. Steady and building, they stood under eerie red lights and more smoke than possibly necessary, so you could only catch glimpses as they teased before finally announcing a more viable physical presence under brighter lights for Slow Night. This section of the show was cleverly bookended with, arguably, the band’s biggest hit; Sex On Fire. It wasn’t though as rough a crowd as I have experienced in the past. I was at the front for the entire set and I recall one show of the past where I was unable to keep my feet on the floor when watching Kings Of Leon because the crowd was so crazy. It wasn’t a lacklustre performance nor response – and Liverpool is clearly a city of singers, but it wasn’t quite the reaction I’ve experienced over time. Perhaps people have (finally) moved on – which is actually great news (in my opinion).

kings of leon elena katrinaIt was Act 2 that felt like the real treat of the night though, as the curtain backdrop closed and Caleb was handed an acoustic guitar and stepped forward into a middle section of the stage that delved deeper into the crowd. It was here that we were given something a little different, it’s a long set so giving us a little something stripped down was the perfect idea. It also shows they do have a softer side. Starting with just Caleb singing The Runner, which, quite frankly, gave me chills – he was joined at the end of the song by the rest of the band for the harmonies just like on the track. This might actually have been my favourite moment of the night. Comeback Story was another which made it to this part of the show and finally, from the most recent album, Walls. I think I almost burst into tears at this part but I just about held it together. I always manage to find at least one track on their last few albums that really hits me emotionally, and Walls is the one!

Then it was time for Act 3 – the all guns blazing act. Up goes the curtain and the stage has been changed and it’s full blown riotous rock out time. Building up to two of my absolute favourites back to back; Closer and Crawl. And I can’t forget the glorious bass line in On Call, which wasn’t too far ahead of them. These heavy beasts of tracks absolutely blew me away – I’ll never tire of hearing them, nor watching them being played live.

It wasn’t the best setlist if you’d been a fan since Youth & Young Manhood, with only Molly’s Chambers making an appearance, but a more reasonable amount of picks from Aha Shake Heartbreak – including an often missed rendition of Milk.  I’m probably being a little greedy wanting at least, oh I don’t know, 4 songs off each album, but I’ll never get enough of any song form Youth & Young Manhood* – though reasonable that the vocal style is very different I understand why they leave so much from it now, that and of course they’re there to promote the most recent material. *To rectify this I’m currently listening to the album in question.

Those who are lucky enough to have seen them on this tour and who have tickets for their massive stadium tour later this Summer it was an event and I am in now doubt what so ever that what is to come will be too. All hail the Kings.

 

 

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