A lot of people bag on Kings of Leon for being wanna-be arena rockers. Yet the "arena rock" tag was never literally true -- not in this country at least. While the Kings might be able to, say, sell out three nights at London's O2 arena, they were still playing to a few thousand people at Mesa Amphitheatre when they toured stateside.
Personally, I took some solace in that. After all, when I saw the band last summer, they were flat-out terrible. In fact, my headline was "Kings of Leon Cocky and Sloppy."
I am disappointed to learn that, barring a well-timed vacation, I will now be seeing the band at Cricket Wireless Pavilion this July. Tickets go on sale Saturday through Live Nation.
Now, I have to assume that while the band sold out the much-smaller Mesa Amphitheatre, they won't be able to fill Cricket. Then again, I never thought they'd get this far. When I saw the Kings, they were awful. Truly, one of the worst shows I've seen in the last year. Maybe it was the small size of the amphitheater, though -- maybe sleepy ol' Mesa seems so lame after you've rocked London so hard you felt the need to write a self-aggrandizing song about it.
Whatever you think about the band, this development -- the Kings' summer tour of our nation's largest amphitheaters -- is incredibly significant. Can you think of any other rock band who made its name during the '00s that can fill an arena without a huge support act? I can't. Even guys like Kanye West need to take Lupe Fiasco and Rihanna on tour with them to play arenas.
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Kings of Leon may now officially be the biggest rock band of -- or at least by -- the '00s. Pretty much any other rock band that can headline venues like Cricket made its name back in the '00s, with a shove from MTV and the other Old Media behemoths that used to push bands like Green Day and Blink-182. Kings of Leon did this in the Internet age, despite the fact that pretty much every music blogger I know actively despises them.
Congratulations, Kings of Leon.
You still suck, though.