Kings of Leon, We Are Scientists, The Stills Palladium Ballroom October 29, 2008
Better Than: Trying to make a 7 p.m. start time to see the first band.
It was an early show last night--the doors were open at 6 o'clock--so I was expecting everyone to be running as late as I was.
Boy, was I wrong. As I got up to the ticket window, The Stills were already on. Must have gone on stage promptly at 7 p.m., too, by the sound of it. And, once I made it inside, I was surprised to see the floor of the Palladium was already almost entirely full to witness The Stills' set.
As the lights went down before the Kings of Leon set, the knowing crowd reached a full-blown roar in anticipation of band coming on stage. And the band started off the night raucously with “Crawl,” off the band's latest, Only By The Night. From the first notes of the song, the crowd roared its approval and surprisingly sang along with the entire song.
Though the band seemed ready to party it up with its willing audience, it wasn’t ready to talk too much to the crowd. In one of the few times he spoke to the crowd, frontman Caleb Followill explained that his band had played in Houston the night before, but that enthusiasm of the Palladium crowd made it feel like the show was in a completely different state.
Sure, it’s a band's job to get the crowd on their side by saying something about the city, but Followill seemed like he actually meant it. And the crowd sure seemed to eat it up: As the first notes of “Molly’s Chambers” came over the PA system, the audience threw beer cups through the air, and, as Caleb began singing, you could almost hear the crowd over band.
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This was the way it was throughout the entire night. From “Taper Jean Girl” to “Knocked Up” and “Sex on Fire”, the crowd sang along with every song.
Personal Bias: OK, full disclosure? I’m a big fan of Kings of Leon, and I’ve seen them a few times now. But this was hands down the best show I’ve seen them play. It helped that it was an excellent crowd that was into every song.
By The Way: Until this show, I'd only heard a couple of songs by We Are Scientists, and I was very interested in seeing them. They put on a very tight, very impressive set. I was also impressed with the Palladium; yes, it may be more of an airplane hangar, but it has pretty good sight lines throughout the venue and an excellent sound system.
Random Note: Every time Kings of Leon's roadie "Nacho" came on to the stage before the KoL set, the crowd was peppered with people calling out “Nacho!” As you w'd expect, he ate it up. --Lance Lester