Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kings of Leon 27th March 2009

This gig comes with a long story. It all started in November when I purchased my ticket the day they went on sale. They were selling fast, but I scored a GA ticket to the Wellington show without too much stress. Then I sat back, looking forward to the gig on the 27th. As plans started firming up for my RSNZ Fellowship trip to Australia I became relieved to see I would be returning on the 26th from Broome, in time for the gig the next day. Then plans changed, the Broome trip had to be extended and we were heading home on the 27th. Reluctantly, I sold my ticket on Trade Me in February, prior to heading off, consoling myself that at least I could then spend the money on a nice bottle of whiskey at duty free. However, one afternoon soon after having sold the ticket, Kath (my partner) is looking in her diary and goes, Oh, so you’ve got Kings of Leon – 27th March and I’m like – No, February isn’t it? The day I get back from Broome, that’s why I sold the ticket. But, of course she was correct and I’d just made a prized stuff-up. Dick.

Anyway, shoot forward a month, the Broome trip is finished. A nice new bottle of Dalwhinnie whiskey sits in the cabinet, it’s a week out from the gig and burning desire to get down there takes over. Back onto Trade Me, this time looking to buy a ticket rather than sell one. Score, a buy now ticket comes up for a reasonable price (in fact less than what I had sold my ticket earlier) and bang, I buy it and I’m off to the gig. Crazy.

So, the gig…I really was looking forward to this gig. I had seen these guys twice before and I especially remember seeing them after they had released Youth & Manhood, brilliant and fresh, a great sound. That album was my album of 2003. Of course, these days they are more polished and less hick-ville, but the music while a bit different, is equally as awesome. I was therefore looking forward to hearing the new songs live. Luger Boa kicked off with a few tunes to warm up the crowd, they are doing a good job at getting themselves out there and making a positive impression as a new kiwi band.

9pm, Kings of Leon hit the stage. I was at the gig with my friend Janelle and she’d asked what I reckon they’d open with. My thinking was either Red Morning Light or Closer. Closer it was, a pretty slow song, but those opening notes are so distinctive – you knew this was the Kings. This followed immediately by the next song off the album, Crawl. They do seem to fit together nicely. The boys were in good form, musically the sound was well balanced and clear. Their interaction with the crowd was pretty minimal, but enough – Caleb Followhill part way through getting the seated crowd to get on their feet. The set list was a great mix of older songs – California Waiting, King of the Rodeo, The Bucket, Fans with plenty of songs off the new album. A live filming for MTV saw Sex on Fire and On Call come through as crowd pleasers. The 4 song encore included the only moment of the evening where things just seemed to go out of sync for a moment, Knocked Up just not gelling like the rest of the evening’s songs, though the perfect song, Manhattan, made up for any glitches. Still they finished up after over an hour and a half, leaving the hot sweaty crowd happy they came and I for one was stoked to be there.

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