SIZZLING SOUTHERN ALT ROCKERS KINGS OF LEON ARE KEEPING IT RELATIVE DURING THEIR 20 MONTH WORLD TOUR
BY JONNY K
The family affair that is the Kings of Leon has five remaining dates on its “WALLS” Tour from June to August three in the UK, one in Washington State, another in Pasadena, California; and one on the East Coast at the Borgata in Atlantic City on August 5.
The tour, which began in January of last year (with special guests the Dawes), supports an RCA Records studio album of the same name, released in 2016. The title is an acronym for “we are like love songs,” continuing the foursome’s string of five syllable album titles. It also marked the band’s first Number 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, and the single “Waste a Moment” was its seventh Top Ten hit on the Alternative Songs airplay chart.
Tennessee born brothers Caleb, Nathan, and Jared Followill, along with their cousin Matthew, began as an alternative Southern rock garage band in Nashville circa 2000, and ultimately took its name from the siblings’ preacher father, Leon. After a bidding war among record companies, they released a debut album, Holy Roller Novocaine, in 2003, and was soon filling Radio City Music Hall and The Greek Theatre in Hollywood. A path to fame included opening for U2 in 2005 and Bob Dylan and Pearl Jam in 2006 and 2008. At the time, Nathan Followill said, “We definitely wanted our songs to sound good in a 15,000 seat venue, but also wanted them to have the kind of intimacy that would get the point across at a club show for 300 kids.”
Kings of Leon received its first of three Grammys for “Sex on Fire,” (Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals), the hit single from the 2008 Only by the Night album, followed by seven more nominations. Other notable nominations include MTV’s Video Music Award for Best Rock Video and MTV’s Europe Music Award for Best Song in 2009.
A highlight of the WALLS Tour occurred last September 29, when the band played the first concert held at the First Tennessee Park in Nashville (home of the minor league baseball team the Nashville Sounds). As the tour began, front man Caleb Followill told Billboard, “We’re pushing ourselves to do some really creative things…that not many rock bands do. We’re not going to be floating on a stage like Kanye or anything like that, but we’re going to be breaking the show up into parts and doing things that are hopefully going to have people leaving saying that was the best show they’ve ever been to.”
1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City / borgata.com