The Nashville four piece made a triumphant return to the Isle of Wight Festival main stage at this years event, following the 2013 release of their latest album Mechanical Bull. Recently completing their sell-out international tour, the brothers brought the festival to an all mighty close with a killer set list, creative graphic backdrops, and a firework spectacular following their performance.
The four piece, comprised of brothers Caleb Followill (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Nathan Followill (drums), Jared Followill (bass), and their cousin Matthew Followill (lead guitar), formed in Tennessee in 1999. The band have experienced success from the beginning of their careers, receiving numerous music awards, achieving a multitude of platinum certifications, and earning millions of sales worldwide. As recognisable faces among the popular music scene, the stadium fillers had even the weariest festival attendee off their feet, and some even naked.
The Isle of Wight main stage towers over the crowd, creating a huge black space for artists to decorate and fill. The graphic backdrop kept to audiences eyes focused on the band, with a split screen image allowing both the band, the raucous crowd, and the orchid animation to be displayed. Kings of Leon have undoubtable stage presence, effortlessly drawing the cameras and the crowds gaze to each member’s face, and practiced musical talent. The festival is well known across the UK, and even the world. With such an established band taking to the stage for the second time, the festival is only likely to get more well known and better attended.
The band had a buzz before they had even appeared on stage, the crowd was elated and screaming for the band to come on long before their actual appearance. As soon as the graphic board displayed the band name the audience erupted. proving it really only takes three words. Opening the set with one of their latest singles ‘Supersoaker‘, the band immediately took control of the crowd. The heavy, southern roots of their music filled the entire festival area, even managing to drown out the near constant bass from one of the closest fairground rides. The band wished the crowd a happy fathers day, as well as praising both the enthusiasm and the nudity in the crowd.
The band played a grand total of 23 songs, spanning throughout their six album discography. Regardless of their recent albums and highly popular singles, the two songs that got the crowd most enthusiastic were the classic, if slightly overplayed, ‘Use Somebody‘ and ‘Sex On Fire‘. On scanning the audience members surrounding me, mere metres from the band itself, I immediately noticed the smiles, singing and the beginnings of a mosh pit. The feeling was infectious, with festival blues imminent and a short hour and 50 minute set before the inevitable doom of struggling to get off the island the next day, everyone was giving it their all, including the band.
The set was confident, laid back and the band seemed highly content with the crowd’s reactions. As one of the most enjoyable sets of the weekend, it’s really no wonder that the quartet are so popular, with each word Caleb drawled to the crowd receiving wild cheers from the female members of the audience.