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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Kings of Leon Roared at the Warfield Last Night

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2007 at 9:31 AM


Kings of Leon

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Warfield, San Francisco, CA.

Better Than: Sleep

Download: Some new Kings.

This is what you listen to on a 400-mile-long, midnight burn down the Interstate doing 100 MPH with the windows down and the girlfriend shouting, “Slow down, you're going to get arrested!” Do not listen to her of course, simply throttle up the southern rawk stylings of Kings of Leon or their openers Tuesday, SF garage rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and brace yourself when the import shimmies at 110.

Kings of Leon's brothers Followill brought a ruckus to the Warfield Tuesday night, preaching to a mighty fine choir for a weeknight, especially after Burning Man, Labor Day and various other energy drains. Even lead singer Caleb Followill said the band wasn't feeling it at first, because they were all sick. But after insanely high screaming for “McFearless”, “Arizona”, “True Love Way”, and pretty much everything else, Caleb admitted they were feeling fine. “You guys are fantastic!”

The Tennessee quartet has roared out of the South with three beloved albums since 2000 and appeared last night in support of their latest “Because of the Times” with unapologetically huge riffs, and Bon Joviality (nice vest).

Guitar solos? Check. Mick Jagger's swagger? Check.

The band seemed to answer the hypothetical question, “What if Jet had integrity?” as their punk (southern) rock stylings veered in Armageddon sountracky inspirations tones, never the less redeemed by amazing drum fills, and funky bass lines.

Which is why a couple thousand tweedy males in the late 20s, music dorks, and hot, M.I.A.-loving girls shook their denim booties to the 100 decibel jams despite a looming 8 a.m. alarm clock. Everyone was feeling it, and I saw a girl in miniskirt, heels and a leg cast at the show. She said she broke her leg doing a backflip on a trampoline had a steel plate running up inside the length of her calf, but refused to miss her first experience with the band that gave her “Aha Shake Heartbreak.”

The Kings of Leon crowd happily tolerated the opener, former SF garage rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. They gave it up for the greasy, serpentine, and skinny lead Peter Hayes, and the roadhouse blues proved to be good warm up. The first five songs including “666 Conducer” seemed to get people moving, but when secondary lead Robert Levon Been did his songs the whole thing veered off toward Bloc Party somehow. After a while, there's only so many things BRMC chose to do with those throbbing blues licks, distortion, killer drumming and solos, and when they went for the trombone and piano – the shine came off the chrome. I just have a hard time imagining a Hell's Angel with a trombone, is all.


Personal Bias: Religious Family and the E chord.

Random Detail: Did I mention the heels and leg cast? Hot.

By the way: Kings of Leon tour till January. Stay healthy, guys.

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David Downs


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