Remember the MoSS? Pit post about the trip to Kansas City Mrs. Todd and I took a few months back to see Arcade Fire? If not click here. If so, then you know it was an awesome concert and we had a great all around trip. It just so happens that on the drive down to Kansas City, the Mrs. and I impulsively bought some tickets for a future great concert and great all around trip. (I love technology…always and forever…always and forever)
Of course, we didn’t know it would be great at the time. We were just hoping for good weather and a fun show when we bought tickets in the pit for Kings of Leon in St. Louis. If you read our Undisputed Top Albums ever posts them you’ll remember that I had the Kings of Leon album Aha Shake Heartbreak listed as my #51 album ever. You’ll also remember that after introducing my wife to their music she has become a KOL lover pushing into stalker-like levels. She’d seen them before with pretty decent seats but it was my goal to get her right up to the front of the pit. Come hell or high water we were going to have the best view in the house for this one.
The venue was the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater west of St. Louis where Kings of Leon previously played and left the stage mid set because they were getting bombarded by pigeon shit. Really. Pigeon shit. Upon hearing this news, we weren’t just worried about getting a good spot to see the show. Now we also had to worry about pigeon doodoo? Chris and Sam had been at the venue before to see The Cure and assured me that if we got there right at doors, we would be able to get to the front of the pit. Unfortunately, they had no assurances for the pigeon poopy. We took their advice and we arrived at the venue 15 minutes before doors. There was probably a hundred or so other concert goers in line already but once doors opened and we made our way through security into the pit area, we were able to walk right up and secure a spot 10 feet from the stage. The Mrs. was thrilled, I was husband of the year and all was right in the world.
The only negative, if there was one, was that we had to sit through 2 opening acts that neither of us was too thrilled about. The first was the South African band of brothers, Kongos. We actually listened to their album, Lunatic, on the drive down but neither of us really liked it much. Their live show was actually much better. They were energetic and at times they reminded me of Graceland era Paul Simon. Maybe it’s their South African roots.
The 2nd band was the oddly named, Young the Giant. I’d heard them a bit on satellite radio but never really enjoyed their music. It just doesn’t touch me in any way. I felt the same about the live show. The music was fine. It just doesn’t affect me one way or the other. It just sort of …is. I will say this about Young the Giant, the front man is very charismatic. He works the stage well and really gets into the show. So I guess there’s that.
Needless to say, once Young the Giant were over we were ready for some KOL. Although, it was pretty cool being right up front and watching the small army of men tear down and put up the lighting and sound gear.
After 15 minutes of watching roadies and downing a couple shots we sneaked in, the lights dimmed and the show began. KOL kicked the show off with the terribly titled, but rousing runner of a song “Supersoaker.” It’s the lead single from their latest album Mechanical Bull. Prior to the show my wife and I were discussing past KOL setlists and listing songs that we really wanted to hear but thought to be seldom played long shots. To our delight, the next two songs were actually on that list as they played “Taper Jean Girl” and “Fans” in succession.
KOL have a contest running during this tour where the fans pick a song for each venue of the tour and they will only play the winning song that night. No repeats during the remainder of the tour. The St. Louis selection was “Slow Night, So Long” from the previously mentioned album Aha Shake Heartbreak. This was a particularly fun point of the night because, at their own admittance, they weren’t really prepared to play that one. They pulled it off quite well though. I actually tweaked my neck a bit banging my bald head back and forth in the part of the song when the drums really kick in.
The rest of the set was pretty decent mix of songs from all 5 of their albums. I really enjoyed the sing-along moments of the show during “Knocked Up”, “Pyro” and the KOL stadium killer anthem, “Use Somebody”, which closed out the pre-encore part of the set.
The crowd was pretty diverse. For much of the first part of the show I actually had an 8 or 9
year old girl standing next to me belly up to the rail. Before the show started, I couldn’t believe that her parents would bring her to a show at that age. She knew the words to every song though and belted them out as she jumped up and down. I think my wife was a more than a bit jealous as the band members handed the girl special used items before the encore started. Guitarist Matt handed her a pick and my wife’s favorite Followill brother, drummer Nathan, sent the little girl a drum stick. That last one stung the most I’m sure.
The last 3 songs of the night were KOL encore staples “Crawl”, “Black Thumbnail” and the crowd pleaser “Sex on Fire.” The band seemed to really enjoy themselves throughout the set. Maybe they were just happy not to be dodging pigeon feces all night. No matter the reason they played their asses off and the crowd loved it.
Today when Hip-Hop and EDM lead the way, these guys are a real throw back to the days of the stadium filling rock bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s. If you want to see a real rock show, by a real rock band in their song writing and performing prime, I can’t recommend seeing Kings of Leon enough. If you want, you could even join the wife and me for an upcoming Kings show in Vegas. I will be turning 40 years old in the VIP section as the Followill brothers kick off their show at the MGM Grand. I can’t wait. Holler up at me, maybe I’ll see you there.