“I have no idea what you’re saying,” laughs Caleb Followill at Glasgow’s rapturous crowd. “It sounds great, though.” It’s rare to imagine a venue in which Kings of Leon would hear their audience’s shouts such is the average distance from them and the sheer volume of people.
But The Hydro is up to the challenge of bringing them back from festival stages to something that, at the very least, has a roof. As their latest album, Mechanical Bull, finds itself projected on the curtain, the curdling screams are only increased as the Tennessee foursome attempt theatrics, performing the entirety of Charmer as mere silhouettes obscured from view.
Lasers and strobes pack the main clout of their stage show. Their lovely mugs loom from the large screens behind them, and bar from the occasional muffled vocal that folks up in the rafters couldn’t decipher, they’re completely on point.
At times it comes off so polished that it lacks a surprise, but their live continuity to their extensive recorded catalogue only encourages the dancing masses in front of them. Single Supersoaker proves they’ve still got great songs in them as Pyro displays their musicality with a little more flair. Their prowess is undeniable as their sound feels more than big enough to fill a venue of this size.
But then comes the biggies, the ones that made the balconies shudder from the ensuing sing-a-longs, and you realise the show has merely been simmering along in comparison.
Don’t Matter brings a little swagger to proceedings, as Use Somebody puts Glaswegian’s soulful side to the test (although, not everyone can quite pull it off that elegantly). Sex on Fire is deafening. A mighty crescendo to a band so on point it proves both their main issue and greatest achievement.
Do fans want a deconstructed or revamped version of class act songs? Sometimes, maybe, but here it would have seemed misplaced. Kings of Leon don’t stray far from what they know, if at all, but you can’t deny that with or without spontaneous twists and turns, they’re the kind of band The Hydro was built for – with big hits, a large fanbase and one hell of a presence.