Live gig gives Leon fans just what they want

Elham Shabahat

The atmosphere tingled with anticipation, enthusiasm and cigarette smoke. Fans waited, occasionally tapping their foot to the vague background music.

What they were waiting for was the Kings of Leon’s first performance in Connecticut at Toad’s Place. The Kings of Leon are a rock band from Tennessee with brothers Caleb (guitar), Nathan (drums), Jared Followill (bass), and their cousin Matthew as the lead guitarist.

The Kings of Leon came out with three albums within the last two years, “Holy Roller Novocaine,” “Youth & Young Manhood,” and their latest “Aha Shake Heartbreak.” The band has gained immense popularity in the U.K and has been well received in the U.S, especially after they opened for U2’s Vertigo 2005 North American Tour.

The Kings of Leon came on stage and jumped into their single “Molly’s Chamber.” This was followed by hits such as “King of the Rodeo,” “Taper Jean Girl,” “The Bucket,” “Milk” and a few other songs from their recent album.

The concert was short and played on a tight rope. The band did not waste much time on any Green Day-esque maneuvers to interact with the audience. They came with an arrogance developed after knowing that they play brilliantly. The audience was involved in their music and that was all the interaction Kings of Leon seemed to want from the fans.

The brothers, Caleb, Nathan and Jared, traveled with their evangelist father when they were young. However, their lyrics are far from evangelical. Hard as it is to figure out what Matt is singing (the southern drawl gets in the way), you’ll find yourself singing along to “I’d pop myself in your body, I’d come into your party but I’m soft” or wanting to feel “Molly’s Chambers” since “She’s got your…your pistol.”

Kings of Leon played for about 30 minutes and returned after an encore to play for another 10. The fans left with two dominating impressions of this short performance: One, their hairstyles are awesome, second, the unique blend of southern, pop and indie influences in their music and the brilliant vocals create an atmosphere that is truly Kings of Leon, an atmosphere no Kings of Leon cover band could recreate.