Kings of Leon ended Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival 2017 (and their own European tour) on a high with a short, sweet and soul-drenching set that showed the success of the southern rockers latest album WALLS, significantly showcasing their sheer range of material, deepening the imprint left on listener’s hearts from their first 2003 album.

Gig Review: Kings of Leon @ Madcool Festival, Madrid 2017
by Angelique Jones

The Followill brothers-and-cousin graced the stage with a humble and unassuming coolness. Athough they were headlining a festival for tens of thousands, they carved a space of delicate intimacy and comfortability that favoured their heartfelt, pure and no-nonsense performance. A set dedicated to the music and the storytelling behind each song; Kings of Leon were here to give us the music, the whole music, and nothing but the music.


Diving straight in, KoL opened with ‘Over’ followed by ‘The Bucket’ preparing the crowd for an intense set that would fuse new with old in a state of alternative rock bliss. Kings of Leon’s sound may have changed over the years, but it remains reliably oh so damn good.

Subtly mixing their newest songs like ‘Reverend’ with their most famous hits like ‘Sex on Fire’ worked remarkably well, as each song blended into the next with no telling what the next song would be but that it was part of a story we were eager to continue. We were an audience excited, intrigued and soothed by the band’s indie-rock fusion and the bottomless vocals of frontman Caleb Followill.

Adding to the performance was the provocative and alluring animations projected behind the band. The screens portrayed beautiful and thought-provoking images throughout the set, each adding to the sensory depths of Caleb’s lyrics.  Matthew Followill’s perfect guitar solos were another highlight of the show.


Caleb honoured the crowd and their last night of their European tour, stating that they were going to have fun tonight - and we certainly did. Their title single ‘WALLS’ which is an acronym for ‘We Are Like Love Songs’ was given a jump-up-and-down twist at the end as they quickened the tempo and added a rocky, upbeat vibe to this mellow track, transitioning seamlessly from heart-wrenching to foot-stomping, with two tender tracks ‘On Call’ and ‘Use Somebody’ prior.

Kings of Leon have been ‘Around the World’ and are going ‘Back Down South.’ This family made it handsomely clear that they are firmly rooted in the music scene with their latest album, which they imbibed perfectly with their original sounds and tone. Closing with ‘Waste a Moment’ I was left singing “don’t say it’s over” as they thanked their fans with their drumsticks and guitar-picks, and gracefully disappeared. 

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On the Beat extends their thoughts to the family and friends of Pedro Aunion Monroy, the dancer that tragically passed away in an accident the day before King of Leon's set at Madcool during an acrobatic performance. 


Image credit: Rolling Stone, YouTube 

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