Friday, October 19, 2007

Kings of Leon, reviewed by John Brooks Pounders

This is the inaugural installment of 90.7's new venture, Capstone Concert Consulting. We send our staff to shows and events and they report back to us.

On October 10, John Brooks and I (MJ) attended the Kings Leon concert at the Alabama Theater in Birmingham. Pictures from the concert will be coming soon.

Manchester Orchestra opened the show and everyone around us in the audience kept asking one another, "Who is that band? They're really good!" You may recognize Manchester Orchestra if you subscribe to Paste Magazine. Their songs have been included in two Paste CDs so far. I managed to catch up with their lead singer after the show and gave him my business card (shamelessly promoting 90.7 The Capstone, of course). : ) Maybe we can convince Manchester Orchestra to come to Tuscaloosa.

After a short break, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club followed Manchester Orchestra. They definitely didn't disappoint the audience. I'm looking forward to seeing them again at Voodoo Fest in New Orleans October 26-28 (Kings of Leon will be at Voodoo Fest also).

Finally, Kings of Leon... I confess that I had not listened to Kings of Leon very much before, but after this concert I find myself playing and replaying the album that John Brooks graciously loaned me. They're fantastic live. I enjoyed watching the crowd's response to the music; their faces shined with an almost religious zeal - a cliched phrase, yes, but so applicable in this case.

I'll let John Brooks elaborate according to the questions I sent him:

1. Artist Quality:
Kings of Leon put on a really good show. They seemed like class acts, even though I couldn't understand what they said between songs. The main singer rocked a v-neck and gold chain like no other. Sometimes I did feel like they might have missed a few queues musically, but that could have been my imagination. They were nonetheless very good performers and left the audience happy.

2. Song Selection/Line Up:
The song selection was right on for me. They played their "classics" like Molly's Chamber and newer songs like Charmer. I was suprised that they would sing Charmer because of the painful screeching the song requires. Kings of Leon also wisely chose to play one of their newest songs, Knocked Up, as the lead song for their encore. The set list was strong and dynamic leaving new and old fans pleased.

3. Pretend I’ve never heard this band before, and try to describe their sound/genre to me:
Kings of Leon is best described as Southern Garage Rock. Using poetic and sometimes painful words mixed with usually up-tempo beats, Kings of Leon creates a slightly modded and very approachable southern rock sound.

4. Venue Atmosphere and Appearance:
The Alabama Theatre is a beautiful theater built in the 1920's by Paramount Studios. From, "It was used primarily as a movie palace for 55 years, with the exception of the annual Miss Alabama pageant and the weekly Mickey Mouse Club." The staff is very eager to fill any patrons in on information about the theater's history and significance to Birmingham, Alabama.

5. Venue Acoustics – and other technical issues that come to mind:
The Alabama Theatre has really good acoustics; the Kings of Leon sounded just like they did on their cds.

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