Kings Of Leon performing their WALLS tour at The Genting Arena Birmingham on Monday 20th February 2017

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

It was a packed Genting Arena that saw alt-southern rockers Kings Of Leon graduate to the big league last night. A quartet of American brothers and cousins from a family of Christian preachers took the music world by storm with their 2008 album Only By The Night which steered them to winning Best International Band and Best International Album at the 2009 Brit Awards, but after that they just seemed to stay still.

But with the release of their 7th studio album, WALLS, they are firmly again in the driving seat. With the stage set with big curtains and dual angle video screens at either side, they took to the stage in a haze of red light and clouds of smoke to deliver 2010’s Come Around Sundown hit, The End. As the smoke dissipated the stage took on a purple glow for the harder and faster Slow Night, So Long.

Despite its sleek production and dramatic lights, it took a while to get going, with front man Caleb’s voice mired at times in the mix to the point of unintelligibility, but the concert kicked into a different gear with Four Kicks, new song Muchacho, Molly’s Chamber and The Bucket, whilst their 2008 massive hit, Sex On Fire woke this crowd up and had them on their feet singing along to a song that never dates.

Whist the shifting of moods and tempos was impressive; the tempo was lowered with a superb acoustic section that saw Caleb with just an acoustic guitar delivering a subliminal The Runner which eventually showcased his powerful voice. He was eventually joined on stage by the rest of the band on acoustic instruments for the equally compelling Comeback Story, and the slow building title track from WALLS which eventually went electric.

With a set list which included nine new songs from a ten track album, there was very little time for between song banter. The second half was bolstered by brilliant guitar playing by Matthew during such stand outs as Closer, Crawl, and Pyro but it was their massive hit, Use Somebody that got the whole venue singing along before they finished a two hour visit with a triumphant version of WALLS anthem, Around The World.

KOL surprisingly missed Nottingham on this tour, but if they make it next time, they are a band that should be at the top of anybody’s list.