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Kings of Leon announced n Tuesday morning that they were to play an impromptu gig that night at the 229 venue at Great Portland Street, and being there felt like 2005.
By this I mean they were playing a small venue, to 620 adoring fans, rather than 20,000 half-hearted fans who would leave as soon as Use Somebody and Sex on Fire had played.
I have been to six KOL concerts in my life and this was by far the most fun. You were there with people who wanted to hear the same songs as you, not just the obvious ones.
They announced the gig in the morning and you had to go to the venue at 1pm in order to get a ticket. So if you were a dedicated fan and went in your lunch break (like I did) then you deserved and got a ticket.
The Followill brothers left cryptic clues as to what was happening via twitter. Jared posted a picture of a 229 (name of the venue) bus, saying “I am going to be riding one of these all day tomorrow.”
The group made their entrance at around 8:15 and opened with The Bucket, a monumental track from Aha Shake, Heartbreak. Then they went into Mary, and other great songs from their albums.
That is one thing about KOL, they know what their true fans love; they showed this by playing a skjg that they rarely play live, Trani, and this particular fan’s favourite, Arizona. I have never heard them play that song live, and to hear it at a smaller venue with better acoustics and a better atmosphere, will be tough to beat.
They rolled through the anthems from each album, with things like The Immortals, Molly’s Chambers and Fans, they had the place rocking. And Caleb claimed half way through that it was the most fun he has had playing a show in a long time.
This show, to me, proves that Kings of Leon are not a group suited to arena-gigs (which is what every real fan knew, anyway), and the shows are a lot better when they are smaller, and with an audience that give a crap about more than two songs.
And to top it all off, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin walked past me. How cool is that!