Review: Kings of Leon at iTunes Festival
Our sex was certainly on fire!
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There are two kinds of Kings of Leon fans. On one hand you have the diehard purists who're quick to criticise anything that's not Youth and Young Manhood (The early work). And then on the other, there're the fans who think it all began with 'Sex on Fire' and refuse to even acknowledge the southern blues-rock grit of their previous work. But no matter which album you subscribe to, there's no denying that when it came to the iTunes Festival, the Kings bloody smashed it.
The 2,000 or so lucky ticket winners packing out Camden's Roundhouse on Wednesday night were treated to a medley of classics like 'The Bucket', 'Four Kicks' and 'Molly's Chambers' intertwined seamlessly with a few fresh bites from the new album Mechanical Bull, including one of the gig's highlights 'Family Tree' - an infectious earworm we're going to be whistling around GT Towers for the foreseeable future.
Caleb's unrivalled vocals remain the strongest and most distinctive weapon in the band's arsenal, ranging from a fiery falsetto on tracks like 'Knocked Up' to an all-out stadium rock powerhouse drawl on the absolutely anthemic 'Use Somebody' and 'On Call'. For a band who have played to just shy of 100,000 screaming fans at Glastonbury, seeing them in the gorgeous and intimate setting of the Roundhouse was certainly once in a lifetime.
If we're going to pick holes, they're not the most charismatic band in the world. There's little in terms of stage presence, and not much of a rapport with the live crowd. But when you have such a vastly impressive back catalogue as Kings of Leon do, surely it's best to let the music do the talking?
Speaking of talking, our throats are still sore this morning from screaming "your sex is on fire" down Camden High Street last night, but it should give us just enough time to rest up before the likes of Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake later this month. Remember, you can download the free official iTunes Festival app to see the festival's full-line up, apply for tickets and watch the shows live or on repeat. In the mean time, though, all we can say is long live the Kings.
Words: Ed Hetherington (@EdHetherington) and Ryan Butcher (@ryanjohnbutcher)