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.
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.