Kings of Leon
ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Dan Oko, Fri., Oct. 9, 2009
Kings of LeonOct. 2, Zilker Park
Verging on the superstar status that's eluded them in their native country, the Kings of Leon are unapologetic in their desire to be worshipped. Relying on soft-loud swells and concussive video screens, the Memphis quartet's opening night ACL set was flirty enough for Twilight tweens to feel dangerous beneath an almost full moon. Forward vocals emphasized that the Kings of Leon also have something grownup to say, not just "Sex on Fire." Out of the gates with "Crawl," one of the many tracks from last year's chart-topper Only by the Night, the four Followills have adopted the stadium moves of past touring partners U2 and Pearl Jam. Diving into a whiskey river with copious shots of what we're guessing was Tennessee bourbon, Caleb Followill told the crowd, "No matter what shit people talk about the Kings of Leon, I'm very proud of where we've come from ... and we're not going anywhere." Powerful versions of recent singles "Use Somebody" and "Manhattan" may have even scored the Kings of Leon new fans. When Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder surprised the crowd by singing and playing tambourine on set walk-off "Slow Night, So Long," Kings of Leon took another step in their ascension.