FAMILY BUSINESS: Unable to sit still and relax, the kings are in Riga for the summer’s biggest concert.
RIGA - U.S. rock superstars Kings of Leon will deliver one of their eight scheduled European performances at the Mezaparks Open-air Stadium on June 25 in Riga. It will be their first and only show in the Baltics on a tour which takes the group to Sweden, Poland, and Germany. The concert is expected to gather a large number of foreign fans.
The show’s organizer Girts Majors said, “the Kings of Leon show will be the first foreign open-air performance, which, since the legendary Metallica gig at the Skonto Stadium back in 2008, will once again gather tens of thousands of showgoers in Latvia. Although Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Robbie Williams all performed in Tallinn, the Kings of Leon performance will tip back the scales, with this year’s biggest music event taking place in Riga.”
The band, comprised of four family members, achieved initial success in the United Kingdom with nine UK TOP 40 singles within a relatively short time period. All three of the band’s albums peaked at the TOP 5 of the UK Albums Chart in 2008. The release of “Only by the Night” saw Kings of Leon transform into true global superstars. Finding their voice and grasping toward U2 levels of spacious grandeur, Kings of Leon cemented their musical style and star status with such chart topping singles like “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire,” which have become huge global hits.
The band’s frontman Anthony Caleb Followill has said about the tour, “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I think it’s the first time in a while that our fans have had a breather from us and I think the fact that we’ve been away for a minute … I think people are really excited, and I know we’re going to try to bring something special to the table.”
Kings of Leon formed in 1999. The band is composed of brothers Anthony Caleb Followill (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ivan Nathan Followill (drums, percussions, backing vocals) and Michael Jared Followill (bass guitar, backing vocals), with their cousin Cameron Matthew Followill (lead guitar, backing vocals).
Kings of Leon hadn’t even started to think about making a new album when they headed out to play shows in Australia and South Africa in late 2011. The four had been on a fairly relentless grind for the preceding eight years, releasing five albums and touring the world dozens of times since emerging from Nashville in early 2003. They exhausted themselves to the point of needing a concrete break that summer, and they announced they’d be taking six months off after the Australia tour. The plan was to relax at home in Nashville - hang out with their families, play golf, barbecue, and not even touch their instruments. But these kings never can seem to let more than a few months pass without writing new songs: Caleb sat down in his hotel room in South Africa and penned a pair of tracks that set the tone for their new album, “Mechanical Bull,” and there wasn’t really any stopping from there.
Those songs - a powerful strutter called “Temple” that consolidates all the best elements of the band’s first three albums into one of their most irresistible, signature-sounding bangers yet, and the soaring ballad “Comeback Story,” which injects trademark Followill humor into its otherwise heart-breaking tone – catalyzed an album that sounds like a more refined version of classic Kings. “We wanted to write songs that are like a little two and a half minute punch in the face,” Nathan says of the eleven tunes on their sixth studio album. “We wanted to make a record that as soon as it’s over, people want to play it again. I call this one our unofficial greatest hits, because it has a couple songs that will appeal to fans of every Kings of Leon album: If you’re a Youth & Young Manhood fan, you’re going to love “Family Tree,” because it’s funky and dirty and nasty. If you’re into A-ha Shake Heartbreak, you’re going to love “Supersoaker.”
Just 20,000 tickets are available in Latvia for the band’s only show in the region (there are probably much fewer tickets by now). The remaining tickets will go on sale in Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Russia and Belarus – countries that the band also hasn’t performed in yet. Last year Kings of Leon released their sixth studio album Mechanical Bull, to which this tour is also dedicated. The ticket prices for the upcoming show will be considerably lower than in other European countries.
Kings of Leon
June 25, Mezaparks Open Air
Tickets can be purchased at: