Confessions of an Obsessed Fan
Champion music zealot and my frequent partner-in-crime at cross-country concerts, Amanda Brown, weighs in again as an honored guest blogger for RadioPotato.com. Let’s join in on her journey to obsession over one of her very favorite bands, Kings of Leon. Oh, and sorry Amanda, Caleb just got engaged. Womp. Womp. 😉
It was March 2009 when a road trip up to Boone introduced me to Kings of Leon. I know, a late bloomer on these guys for sure. Their 3rd album was released in September of 2008, along with the singles Sex On Fire, Notion and Use Somebody. I’ve been making up for lost time ever since.
In October of 09, I saw them in Atlanta at Philips Arena. Philips is one of my least favorite venues in the city, but I was dying to see KOL live. We had floor passes and settled into a spot back from the stage, with some breathing room. Now, Radiopotato would have preferred to be at the stage catching the sweat beads as they dripped off Caleb (true story – AR), but in my old age, I prefer space. The show was electric, and the space allowed for some killer dance moves. When they guys played their US hits, the crowd went wild, but when they played their older stuff, you could just tell that most people weren’t familiar with it. Which is a shame, because it’s the older stuff that really rocks. Personal favs are “Ragoo,” “Taper Jean Girl” and “Soft.”
I was still on a high from the Atlanta show, so I drove up to Nashville the next weekend to catch their show with a friend of mine. Having just seen them the week before, I expected the same set list and performance but, boy, was I wrong. I didn’t take into account that this was their hometown. The show was at the Sommet Center (renamed Bridgestone Arena) but had a feel of being at Exit/In. It was intimate, and small town, and they seemed genuinely humble about the experience. Caleb even made mention that his grandmother was at the show, and that she was probably going to be disappointed in their next song, and then went into “Sex On Fire”. At that moment, it just seemed like they were 4 guys, doing what they love, and playing to a group of friends. It was a completely different experience than the show before.
Fast forward to July of this year, and you’ve got me, and 3 of my friends traveling to Phoenix to catch their show on my 30th birthday. It was 116 degrees, and hotter than I’ve ever been in my entire life. Fact: I will never go back to Arizona again. It was that miserable. The Features (whom I love and stalk) opened up first, followed by Built To Spill. (Gag me with a spoon). Pushing through the heat, and some tough travel episodes, once KOL came on stage, all seemed to right itself. They tried out some of their new songs at the show and if it’s any indication of what their album will be like, it’s gonna rock. My favorite song from this show was on off their upcoming album Back Down South. I will say, I recognized that they have some repetitiveness about their set list. For instance, they have played “Knocked Up” to end all three of the shows I had seen. I wonder how a band chooses it’s final, encore song? Third Eye Blind used to end their sets with “God Of Wine”. Random, I know.
Now, having seen them 3 times, in 3 different states, in less than a year would lead one to believe that I would be able to pass them up when they came back to Atlanta . I didn’t buy tickets. Didn’t put the date down in my calendar. Just wanted to pretend like it wasn’t happening. Then I caved the week before. I ended up with pit passes to the show at Lakewood. I grabbed a friend, a cooler of beer and enjoyed the amazing fall weather before the show started. The Black Keys opened up this show, and I was mildly interested in seeing them given their current growing fan base. I had hoped that seeing them live would change my opinion of their music, but it didn’t. It was still as lackluster and uninspiring as ever. The Kings, however, rocked my face off.
The thing about a KOL show is that you will get a fantastic show every time. They are a band that sounds just like their album. Not a lot of auto-tuning, falling glitter, or dancing girls. Although, they probably wouldn’t be opposed to dancing girls on stage with them. But more than just the performance, at each concert I’ve attended it’s been about the experience. It has been about dance moves, and singing at the top of my lungs, screaming like a girl at Caleb’s pearl snaps button-down shirt (read: Amanda loves a man in flannel), old friends, new friends and sharing the moment with people you care about. So, when someone asks me how I liked the show, a flood of memories comes into my head. And, that, to me, is what makes a great concert. Creating a memory.
Amanda publishes her own blog that’s always unique, funny, and introspective. You can follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her blog here. Amanda, thanks again for contributing! I love your passion and your stories are always top notch.