Kings of Leon bring the best of times to The Joint, almost

Kings of Leon’s fans love to dress in plaid and they love to drink.

Oh, and they love Kings of Leon, too.

These are three of the lessons learned from last night’s concert at The Joint.

There was a higher-than-usual amount of concertgoers wearing plaid last night -- men especially. Yes, checkered patterns are back in style and therefore commonplace in trendy spots across the city – in the Arts District and at hipster hotspots like Beauty Bar especially – but even so, the plaid quotient was especially high last night.

The drink line, too, was something to be seen and, if you were thirsty, experienced. Despite already being in line when the band took to the stage at 9:15 p.m., it took nearly half an hour to get a Diet Coke.

The Kings of Leon’s subjects are a thirsty bunch, apparently.

And they are a faithful bunch, too.

The band sold out both of their previous shows at the old, since-shuttered Joint and they sold out last night’s concert, as well.

While sellouts are nothing new, attendance rates like the one witnessed last night are.

Simply put, the place was packed.

Maybe it was the midweek concert date or perhaps it was the lack of competing entertainment options (and ample DVRs to record last night’s Top Chef: Las Vegas premiere). Or maybe the band’s fans are, indeed, that faithful.

Whatever the reason, Leon loyalists turned out in droves and few tickets appeared to have gone unused.

Those who came got their money’s worth, too: The band played for nearly two hours after up-and-comers The Whigs sufficiently warmed the considerable crowd.

The four-man rock ’n’ roll monarchy worked through a range of songs during their 75-minute set and four-song encore.

Still, the grungy and unshaven quartet dazzled the Hard Rock’s crown jewel of a concert venue last night.

There was a rare moment of confusion toward the end of the show when frontman Caleb Followill noted it was a big night for Cameron.

While some fans were left wondering who Cameron was, diehards in the audience knew Followill was talking about his cousin, the group’s guitarist.

All four bandmates go by their middle names – Caleb’s first name is Anthony, for example – so when the singer referenced Cameron, he was actually talking about Cameron Matthew Followill, who was standing to his right.

It was a big night for the axeman, his cousin said, because his mom and dad were in the crowd last night.

The Cameron confusion was part of one of the very few interruptions between tracks. Still, the frontman took the time to first bless America and then, later, bless The Whigs and Las Vegas, too.

The son of a traveling Pentecostal preacher, Caleb Followill further displayed his religious roots with a large, silver-cross necklace.

The almost altruistic religious undertones (and, at times, overtones) stuck out amidst Followill’s references to joint smoking (the illegal, herb-filled kind of joints, not the legal, regulated concert venue kind of joints), excessive drinking and intoxication.

What’s more, innuendo-dripping songs like the chart-topping hit “Sex on Fire,” are far from appropriate for even the most liberal church choir.

But last night’s event was a rock concert and brothers Caleb, Nathan, and Jared Followill, along with cousin Nathan Followill put on a decent show.

“I want you guys to have a great experience,” lead singer and band spokesman, Caleb Followill, said. He later restated his mission, upping the ante by saying the band wanted to inspire “the best experience of your life.”

Yet despite what proved to be a decent performance, the fronting Followill’s mission seemed a little far-fetched.

It is, after all, rather hard to imagine any band’s live show trumping concertgoers’ past or future first kisses, 21st birthdays, bachelor parties, wedding days, vacations and other adventures – though yes, many U2 fans insist seeing Bono and the boys live onstage is a life-changing, religious experience all its own.

Perhaps Followill aims to replicate, recreate or build upon that.

But while the Followill boys are already accomplished musicians, with three Grammy nominations under their belt, sloughs of sold-out arena shows and four studio albums on store shelves, they have a ways to go before reaching U2 status.


Melissa Arseniuk

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