It was a beautiful South Florida night as Kings of Leon fans took over the Cruzan Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, some sporting the band’s shirts, others clutching cans of beer and playing frisbee on the lawn, but all sharing the same excitement of watching the band live.
Some fans shared that thrill with friends, coming in groups to see the show. For this event the lawn at Cruzan was the place to be, as attendees secured their spots with lawn chairs and towels and danced to opening acts The Whigs and The Black Keys.
For Kings of Leon fan Jennifer Montes, 25, the show was an excuse to spend time with friends and enjoy a band that she said she has admired for a long time. “I love this band and I am looking forward to them playing their hits,” said Montes, referring to songs “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody”. “Their style is amazing.”
Not only did the band from Franklin, Tennessee prove their chops at being “amazing”, but they ripped apart the stage with crunching guitar sounds and steady drumbeats as soon as they opened with their song, “Crawl” from their album “Only by the Night” under a starry Florida night at around 9:30 p.m. Screams were heard from the crowd as the band played an array of songs in a fast-paced manner such as “Molly’s Chambers” and “My Party”. Kings of Leon spent the night playing bare bones rock and roll, followed by catchy medleys, a lot of heavy drums and a lot of edgy guitar sounds.
The emphasis this evening was on the band of brothers, as they played with a simple light display that glowed in neon green, red and purple. At one moment, after playing “Mary” and right before playing the tune “Fans”, lead singer Caleb Followhill finally acknowledged the audience, which was caught up in the musical moment, swaying back and forth to the songs by the Grammy-award winning band. “Thank you all very much,” he said in a calm demeanor. “We are Kings of Leon.”
The audience kept on pumping their fists in the air and gave the band a standing ovation almost throughout the whole concert. Everyone stood up, even in the lawn, singing along to tunes such as “Revelry”, a slow breezy jam about one’s dream of cutting loose even when caught up in a strict situation. If there was one way fans could describe Kings of Leon's on-stage presence it would definitely be sultry and energetic.
The band has a knack for engaging the audience with their deep vocals and blend of Southern rock. And the brothers sure know that their brand of sex appeal sells. Walking close to the stage, greeting fans, putting their hands on their hair and gently brushing it back while getting just a little too close to the edge were ways they seduced fans as they banged out songs such as “Closer” and “Pyro” to the perfect pitch.
“You guys having a good time,” yelled lead singer Caleb once more as yells were heard from the crowd excited to him hear speak. “A lot of family is here tonight. I want to thank Mom and Dad and all of you fans for being here tonight.” And thankful they were as mid-set the band played their Top 40 hit “Sex on Fire” to the eager yells of the crowd. From the lawn, couples could be seen dancing in circles and girls jumping in groups.
As the night drew to a close on the band’s 20-song set with encore, Kings of Leon teased by leaving the stage but then came back to sing “Manhattan” and the sexy hit “Use Somebody”. It seemed to be the one everyone was waiting for as the venue slowly emptied with happy attendees who experienced a night filled with folk rock with an edge.
Kings of Leon perform (AP photo)