For years, Kings of Leon lamented that their U.S. fame didn’t match the mind-blowing acclaim they’d found in Europe. That all changed for our recent cover stars with the release of last year’s Only by the Night, and the Followill boys drove the point home last night at MTV’s Movie Awards, where they were the only band to take the stage on a show slim on musical moments (but heavy on Eminem-Brü crotch drama). The Kings played a pristine version of “Use Somebody” that filled Los Angeles’ Gibson Amphitheatre with its “whoa oh oh” refrain.
So where can fans catch the Nashville rockers next? Our Summer Tour Preview reports that in August they’ll launch another leg of the tour that saw them play their first-ever gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden (check out photos here), and they’ll also make a big stop at Lollpalooza. “[The U.S. shows] have been really great, actually, much bigger than we’ve come to expect in America,” bassist Jared Followill tells Rolling Stone. “We feel like we’re in Europe. Except they’re not as drunk here. There’s not as much beer being thrown around.” Last weekend the band was a bright spot on the eclectic bill at Washington’s Sasquatch! Festival.
The Kings tell RS that the growth in their live shows has been key to keeping them going since they released their debut in 2003. Followill says “tiny venues, tons of sweat … getting into a van all wasted and trapped with tons of cigarette smoke” could have derailed the family of rockers. But getting bumped up to huge venues has energized their sound and led to slightly fewer fistfights.
Check out our story on Kings of Leon’s summer plans for a playlist to get you pumped for the gigs and video of “Sex on Fire” live in London plus “Crawl,” “On Call,” “Use Somebody” and “Manhattan” as well as photos.
And get the lowdown on the season’s other major treks from Metallica to No Doubt and beyond in our Summer Tour Preview.