Overcome by the welcome they received

“It’s good to be back home,” says Caleb Followill to the Brixton audience. Though the Nashville resident may be thousands of miles from his house, tonight he found himself in the sanctuary of the band’s spiritualhome, and overcome by the welcome they received.

As darlings of the UK, the Kings Of Leon couldn’t just drop in on London for a week and not play a gig; that would be plain rude. And so, with a sold out Brixton Academy bursting at the seams, the royal family dropped in to pay service to the adoring public that have inspired their impressive journey so far.

Bar a few choice festival headline slots, the Kings haven’t played in the UK since their massive Wembley show last Christmas, so for many this was the first chance to catch them live this year. With such mounted anticipation, it was a bold choice to kick off the gig with ‘Crawl’, the crunching Led Zeppish beast from new album ‘Only By The Night’, though its reception would never have suggested that people were not already over familiar with it.

Careering non-stop through selections from their (now) four albums, it was a relentless onslaught of the Leon artillery – ‘My Party’, ‘Razz’ and ‘Wasted Time’ all followed like a one-two sucker punch to the chin. Then new single ‘Sex On Fire’ was unleashed, its epic proportions heightened by the chorus of the crowd, already deeply in love with the smash radio hit. “We missed you guys,” Caleb admitted after ‘King Of The Rodeo’, and you can tell he means it – there must be no reception like this; an adoring crowd lapping up every note and showing their appreciation in their singing.

Knocking out modern classics ‘Fans’, ‘California Waiting’, ‘The Bucket’ and ‘On Call’, they all preceded the rather wonderful ‘Knocked Up’, whose call and response coda filled the Brixton venue with echoing choruses, which carried on later as the audience filed outside – the sign of an indelible mark left by a perfect gig.

You may have caught Kings Of Leon this summer, or you may be looking forward to their full Winter UK tour, but alas this was THE ONE; this was the night every discerning Kings fan should have been at. It was marvelous – the people on both sides of the stage had a glorious connection. “You were the only ones that stuck with us after all this time,” said Caleb to his trusty British contingent. “We’ll never forget it”.

And after tonight, neither will we. Fan-fucking-tastic.

The setlist -

'Black Thumbnail'
'Taper Jean Girl'
'My Party'
'Molly's Chambers'
'Wasted Time'
'Sex On Fire'
'King Of The Rodeo'
'Four Kicks'
'California Waiting'
'The Bucket'
'On Call'
'Pistol Of Fire'
'Knocked Up'
'Slow Night, Slow Long'

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