hmv.com reviews... Kings Of Leon @ BST Hyde Park
Kings Of Leon tore up Hyde Park last night (July 6th) and we were there to take it all in...
Nashville rockers Kings Of Leon on a welcome return to the UK.
In the centre of a sweltering London’s Hyde Park as part of its British Summertime festival, with temperatures up to 31 degrees at times
Any good supports?
Along with other acts on the bill such as Deaf Havana, Frightened Rabbit & Nathaniel Ratellif and the Night Sweats; everyone here has the prestigious honour of watching the legendary Pixies grace the stage.
Having heavily influenced countless bands including the Kings Of Leon themselves, they rattle through an hour long set with no respite.
Frank Black’s mixture of gentle vocals with his screams still sounds great, especially on 'Where Is My Mind', which allows the crowd to engage sing-along; arms aloft in the air swaying to the tune. After three decades in the business, it shows they are still as relevant as ever.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The crowd of around 55,000 are not put off or exhausted by the blistering sun; singing along from all ends of the vast park.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
A red curtain covers the stage at 8:15pm, until a small portion of it is raised up to reveal the band as they open with the slow burner 'Over'. Next is a triple whammy from their second effort Aha Shake Heartbreak with opening two tracks 'So Night So Long', 'King Of The Rodeo' and fan favourite 'The Bucket'. Despite there being some sound issues with a lot of the crowd asking for it to be louder, this doesn’t’ stop anybody from enjoying it any less.
Things then take a slower pace with 'Back Down South', 'Fans' and 'Trani' as the sun sets in the picturesque backdrop. 'Walls' sounds even better live than it does on record; with Caleb Followill alone on stage to start culminating in all of the band joining in for a more uplifting and fast-paced ending than on the album.
From then on, it’s all killer and no filler with 'On Call' and 'Use Somebody' obviously going down well with the London crowd. The seven-minute-long epic 'Knocked Up' is still one of the most mature pieces they’ve written to date; with its mixture of hard and wailing guitars, it just flies by in no time at all.
There’s a surprising lack of material from the previous album Mechanical Bull albeit a very warmly received 'Supersoaker which warms the crowd up just before their 'Sex On Fire' moment. Over time you can see that the band have come to accept the song as the one that people cling on to most and now embrace it as part of their set.
Finishing off with 'Waste A Moment' you can say that it’s rather ironic seeing as they go through the two-hour and 27-song set with no breather and no encore.
Any good between song banter?
Very little is said between songs apart from Caleb stating that the band have been looking forward to this show for a long time and it isn’t hard to see why.
What was the highlight of the set?
Despite all of the hits that are played tonight, it’s the opening two tracks from their breakout album Only By The Night, 'Closer' and 'Crawl' played straight after each other that really hit home tonight.
It shows a darker side to the band that has not really been visited since, particularly with 'Crawl' and its distorted bass line bathed in a flash of blinding white light from the back.
Where can I catch them next?
In terms of European touring, this is it, for now, however, the Autumn months contains a full tour of America and Canada.