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- Posted on Jun 12th 2010 9:38AM by Benjy Eisen
But it takes more than placement to truly be a festival's headliner and, on Friday, Kings of Leon proved themselves worthy. Sure, it made sense to feature them at Bonnaroo since both the concert and the band reside in Tennessee, but from here on out, Kings of Leon are a deserving headliner for any major festival. And it's partly because rather than reinvent the wheel, Kings of Leon are simply able to deliver rock 'n' roll -- with all its power and glory -- powerfully and gloriously.
Opening the Bonnaroo set with 'Crawl,' from their latest release, 2008's 'Only by the Night,' the band harnessed all those rock 'n' roll elements and made them work. Smoke, mirrors, lights, loud guitars? Check. The band ran through songs that, judging from the audience response, could legitimately be called greatest hits -- not only 'Sex on Fire,' but also 'The Bucket,' 'Believe,' 'Closer,' 'Notion' and so on. As Kings of Leon told Spinner recently at a press conference for Bonnaroo, the band is indeed in the final stages of a new album, and they took the time to introduce the audience to choice new cuts, including a song written about Tennessee. The new material went over well, as did a surprising cover of the Pixies' 'Where Is My Mind?' that the band handled so well, many mistook for a new original.
That's not to say the band didn't have jitters -- "I hope you don't mind I might get drunk," said frontman Caleb Followill, not really joking. "It's the only job in the world where you get applause if you get drunk." The applause may not have been for him alone -- after all, he wasn't the only one in that field who may have been intoxicated. Let's just hope he still remembers it this morning. We sure do.