Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Warfield Rawk: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Kings Of Leon

Yesterday I mistakenly said that tonight's show could easily be a double bill. I now stand emphatically corrected. While BRMC put on a fantastic opening set that was a sweet blend of their varying styles, they simply could not hold a candle to the enthusiasm, proficiency, and sheer energy that Kings Of Leon brought to the stage.

BRMC's set was a nice blend of tracks from across all their albums, and instrumentation varied on each. There was piano, harmonica, bass on and off, and even trombone for one track! The band demonstrated an apt mastery of the stage, and milked an enthusiastic crowd over the course of their set. The songs were enjoyable, and the audience responded accordingly. I guess the thing that made BRMC such an "opener" was that the crowd never really gave in to the show. The reaction was reserved, and drastically different from what was about to come.

In TapeOp magazine last year, producer Ethan Johns called Kings Of Leon "the real thing". Every time I have seen them, this has been fervently true. They have such precision and accuracy with their playing, and yet they manage to bring their album tracks to a whole other level in a live setting, regardless of size. Perhaps this precision is what initially earned them the nickname "The Southern Strokes", however by now they've firmly escaped that moniker.

Front-man Caleb Followill mentioned that both he and bassist Jared Followill were feeling a bit under the weather, but the only giveaway was the singer's voice wearing thin on the last number. Aside from that, the set was a steady diet of selections from the group's second and third albums. There were a few gems from the first disc, but surprisingly the latter two dominated considerably.

What I found even more surprising was the fan reaction to this: it seems that Kings' fans are hardly enthusiastic about the first disc, but find the other two to be the crown jewels. This has to be a welcome reaction for the band: while it has been plainly evident that they've grown creatively in the past few years, fan acceptance only doubles the recognition. More than just demonstrating their performance prowess and creativity, the Kings' stop at the Warfield continued to solidify my impression that they simply never give a bad show. Here's to the next one.

2 comments:

Frank said...

what was the setlist, do you know? thx!

mike said...

They make great albums and back them up live! One of the best shows I've seen in over 25 years of concerts. Does anyone have a setlist? Thanks.

Mike
Sacramento, Ca