I took in a great concert last night.
The Kings of Leon played at the rickety old opera house in Boston called the Orpheum Theater. I had a front row center mezzanine seat, which had me suspended above the 20th row on the floor. I could not have had a better seat. The whole balcony rocked up and down when my fellow concert goers really responded to a song. It felt like I was surfing, and very similar to The Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR, which has a dance floor that floats over ball bearings that helps alleviate the stress on ballroom dancers' joints.
At 9:20, the Kings of Leon took the stage and for the next hour and forty minutes, blew me away. They opened with Crawl and went right into their radio hit, Sex on Fire. The Followill brothers and their cousin, who make up the 4-piece band, sounded incredible. The lead singer, Caleb, has one of the best voices in modern music. It ranges from raspy, to tender, to yelpy, to sweeping stadium rock-worthy tones.
Highlights last night were:
Knocked Up (their first encore song)
My only nit was that their crowd banter was as banal as it comes. Here is their commentary verbatim: After the 4th song, "We are the Kings of Leon." About 4 songs later: "Are you having fun? This is one of my favorite cities in America." Talk about vanilla. They could say the same thing at any date in their current U.S. tour, and I'm sure they do.
The lighting effects were a bit jarring, with A LOT of flood lights blasting out toward the audience, blinding us. I found myself shielding my eyes as if from the sun a few times.
However, it's the music that counts most, and Kings of Leon have that in spades, and I'm glad I caught them live now in a smaller venue like the Orpheum (seating capacity is about 2,500). Evidently, they enjoy much more success in the UK, selling out large stadiums, and I have a feeling they'll reach that status soon here in the U.S.
I caught one of the opening acts, We Are Scientists, and I was unimpressed. Nothing special, nothing unique, and their banter was just asinine. They were trying to "start a movement to change the name of Boston to Bosteen." They obviously thought it was funny, because they went back to that after every song. Bleh.