They have undisputed star status in Europe and Great Britain. A quartet consisting of a family Followillsthree brothers – Caleb, Jared, Nathan and their cousin Matthew was originally supposed to perform in Wrocław in 2020, but the pandemic has revised their plans. In the meantime, they managed to release a warmly received album “When You See Yourself” (2021), which also sounded at the only Polish concert.
Kings of Leon they came with an output of 8 albums. I heard the voices of fans waiting for hits from the cult in some circles “Come Around Sundown”while others wanted to hear songs from the newest “When You See Yourself”. The American family tried to please everyone with their performance in Wrocław and meticulously select songs from almost 20 years of their career.
My KOL story started sometime in 2009 with a hit “Use Somebody” and an album “Only Be The Night”and I spent quite a lot of great moments in the company of the already mentioned “Come Around Sundown”, hence my nervous anticipation for songs from this album.
Before the concert started, the filling stadium was warming up for battle A strange spring and Organek.
Although the day in Wrocław was very warm, almost all the members of Kings of Leon came out on stage dressed in katanas, jackets or sweaters – thus literally dripping with sweat, giving the huge club event a stuffy atmosphere.
Caleb Followill from the very first song “When You See Yourself, Are You Far Away” proved that he is in an outstanding vocal form. Overall Kings Of Leon sounded really great. The icing on the cake was the acoustics of the Tarczyński Arena – I really did not expect such a good sound.
Six musicians appeared on the stage, but unfortunately none of the gathered decided to introduce the names of the musical staff to the audience – in general, I have considerable reservations about the involvement of Kings of Leon in contact with the audience. The rather vague behavior can be explained by the singer’s words, who at one point confessed that their beloved uncle Barry died today, and the concert is dedicated to him.
After a while, the band played a song especially for him “Milk”and the stadium was literally lit in the headlamps. “Thank you for that,” said the leader. And so we got quite a large mix of tracks – from the older ones “Aha Shake Heartbreak” by “Walls” and the latest album. I missed at least one number from “Mechanical Bull”.
The huge, rectangular screens, sliding screens in the background of the stage, as well as a glowing, mystical circle made an impression. The disorientation was caused by the sudden shutdown of the image in the side screens, and while I initially thought it was a deliberate act, the disappearing and hanging pixels were clearly some kind of technical flaw.
There was also a dedication to Followill’s daughter, who is celebrating her birthday on the first day of spring. And for her they played a root song – “Radioactive”. Of course, the stadium reacted most lively to the biggest hits, and the original wave of euphoria was caused by “Waste A Moment” and played moments later “Pyro”. If it weren’t for the laws of gravity, I promise, the audience would fly away almost like in a music video, immersed in piercing melody.
Although all the band’s songs are based on guitar riffs, I have the impression that the musicians were absorbed in musical melancholy, which was very felt that evening.
I love the mix of rock and country that Kings of Leon sound has been around since the very beginning. It is their blood heritage and they have never tried to hide it – fortunately, they also let it resonate in Wrocław. That is why I reacted (like the people around me) with great euphoria to the “Back Down South”.
The last KOL album in terms of sound is quite sad and although I had a great time at the concert, I missed the kick that they had a few years ago, incl. on the album “Walls” or “Only By The Night”. Returning from the concert, I heard the conversations of other participants who had similar feelings – the last number of the evening had the greatest power, i.e. the encore played “Sex On Fire”. Then Wrocław really flared up!
Usually, concert participants comment on what they did not like, and this time, headed for the exit, I heard conversations from people delighted with the organization. I must admit that the event was very well prepared. And although this is quite a prosaic thing, those who decided to provide additional trams and buses, which were free for the participants of the concert, deserve applause.
As I mentioned, I prefer Kings Of Leon in a slightly more lively repertoire, to which fans got used to in 2008-2016. The last album may have opened a new chapter in their activity, although I hope that it did not completely close the one rooted in rock fun – in my opinion, the band worked best in this reality. I am waiting for new recordings and another concert where I hope to hear more fun and less melancholy.
Mateusz Kamiński, Wrocław