Story and photos by Matt SchwenkeBriefly emerging from a break in touring, Kings of Leon brought their raw rock sound out to Milwaukee and packed a powerful punch in their short set at Summerfest. The energy immediately palpable, front-man Caleb Followill unleashed his unique howl over dense guitar lines and meaty drum beats in "Wasted Time" and "Four Kicks"-- representing the group's two albums Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak.
Displaying a bit softer, groove-driven side, the irresistible bass and guitar melodies by Jared and Matthew Followill in "Milk" and the measured sway of drummer Nathan Followill in "California Waiting" served as counterpoints to the heavier mood of the set. Creating some sort of middle ground, "King of the Rodeo," with its feeling good in shitkickers attitude, was ultra catchy with its awkward strut. "Spiral Staircase" brought the band back to their raw tone, and "Slow Night, Slow Long " featured the band pushing ahead full throttle with Nathan pounding up a fury behind the drums.
Leaving the crowd with the possessed screams of "Trani," the Kings of Leon left their guitars whining and the crowd roaring as they exited the stage. Claiming there had been no setlist prepared for the show, the encore featured all new material and left a hunger for the band's next release.
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