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Last Night: Kings of Leon at Stubb's

Click the photo to watch an audio slideshow of last night's show featuring live audio from KOL's set. Kings of Leon: After Palo Nutini; before Spoon; even more before The Stooges Would Meatface Approve? Yes. And he'd give a kick to the Scrabble bag to any hipster who said otherwise. Random Quote: After Spoon, "Hey, I hear the Arctic Monkeys are the special guests at La Zona Rosa. Let's skip Iggy and check it out." (It was actually Perry Farrell's Satellite Party. And yes, we did skip Iggy.)

The centerpiece above my fireplace isn't a bust or my forefathers, it's a concert poster of a previous Kings of Leon show at Stubb's. So, to say catching this show was mandatory would be as understated as saying Lone Star beer comes from Texas and tastes "okay."

The first time I saw Kings of Leon, they were playing to a handful of peeps at a side stage at Lollapalooza 2003. Perry Farrell and Janes Addiction were the main attraction. But last night, KOL was at the big dance and Farrell was pitching his latest meal ticket to a less-than-half-full La Zona Rosa. What a happy turn of events.

It was the best I've heard the band, taking steps away from the record versions of tracks off Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak, and introducing a few tracks to be heard on next month's Because of the Times. I'm reserving full judgment of the new material till I get a proper listen to the album, but it's obvious that the band's injecting some new ideas into its red-dirt rock that fueled the first two records. The songs are more anthemic, full of fuzz and at times turn away from the dusty roads that made KOL more than a trite, 21st-Century Skynyrd. They've always offered more, but there were moments in the new material that felt like desperate pleas toward a lower common denominator.

Right, but I'm reserving judgment.

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Chris