“We’ve only played ten songs and you’re already the best fans we’ve heard on tour so far” bellows frontman Caleb Followill in his unmistakable deadpan tone.
However, whether or not this bold “compliment” was sincere or simply run-of-the mill would remain to be seen. But judging by the atmosphere in the Metro Radio Arena this evening, the American rocker was far from wrong.
Kings of Leon are unarguably the biggest rock band of our time, having sold out arenas time and time again throughout the tour celebrating the release of their seventh studio album, WALLS. The family band are no strangers to the North East, having played here many times before over their 18-year career.
From Northumbria University Students Union back in 2004 to St James’ Park in 2012, the Followill’s have played just about every venue in the city. It is therefore surprising that their latest North East show was the most intimate to date- despite being completely sold out.
The Followill’s gave a two-hour career spanning set choosing not to waste a single moment on banter with the 11,000-strong crowd but rather give them what they want – two solid hours of music with an epic set spanning 26 career defining songs from all seven albums.
Taking to the stage shrouded in red haze, the award-winning four- piece launched into a triple whammy of hits, The End, Slow Night, So Long and heavy rhythm, riff-fuelled McFearless. All of which were followed swiftly by the pulsating Four Kicks in almost silhouette as the band launched into their extensive but albeit impressive back catalogue.
Mid-set the band slowed down proceedings as Caleb introduced the more mellow Muchacho, recalling old memories of a dear friend who recently passed away. This paved the way for a superb full acoustic segment, with the singer stood alone under a single white spotlight to deliver a paired-back rendition of country infused The Runner, before being reunited with the rest of the band for Comeback Story.
Tonight’s show is simply about the music – more specifically the music from their album WALLS with all but two songs from the record making it into tonight’s set-list. The show doesn’t feel too excessive of new material with the band instead blending these seamlessly with timeless classics.
A clever track-juxtaposition of crowd favourites Fans, Because Of The Times, Over and Sex On Fire the chance to bask in all the bands nostalgic glory of the album that catapulted the band to stardom.
Complete with astonishing stage production and stunning visuals which seem to progress as the show goes on, the rock kings launch into Pyro and the anthemic Use Somebody with the capacity crowd hanging off every single word and every guitar fuelled riff – a truly beautiful moment indeed.
Bringing their rock marathon to a close with Waste a Moment- the band leave the stage with a bang, no encore needed, cementing themselves alongside some of indie rocks greatest to have braced Tyneside rock fans presence.