Riding the wave of momentum since releaseing Come Around Sundown last fall, Kings of Leon have been on full-tilt ever since. They have a European tour just around the corner and a U.S. summer trek on the horizon with Band of Horses. Then, in the fall, they'll hit Canada.
The three Followill brothers (Nathan, Caleb, Jared), along with cousin Matthew, normally spend one week of their summer in Talihina, Okla. at a family reunion. "This is the first year we have to miss it," drummer/vocalist Nathan Followill told Rolling Stone recently.
The 29-date tour gets underway on July 25 and runs through September 12. And, according to Nathan, the band is excited to play the new tunes: "We're still in the honeymoon phase with Come Around Sundown. We haven't done a ton of shows in the U.S. for it yet, and we hadn't played it much on the previous tour, because we didn't want the whole record to leak before we released it."
Growing up in the clutches of a Pentecostal family, the Followill boys experienced the frenzy and fervor of religious revivals and now equate them with the frenzy and fervor of their concerts. Sons and nephew of a pastor, they document the religious zeal of their family life in their upcoming Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon documentary.
"When you see the scenes of people with hands in the air, imagine that in a small, sweaty club with 250 people," singer Caleb Followill said. "That's what it feels like at the old-time revivals. Anyone who got on stage, the people giving testimonials would turn them into songs, just off the top of their heads. 'Today I went to the market…' When I was a little kid, I thought that was awesome. Some woman singing about her day? That was cool."
Even though music was a big part of their upbringing, rock and roll was naturally considered the devil's handywork. The family has made peace with the path the boys have taken, becoming enthusiastic fans along the way. Pastor Ivan Leon Followill is especially proud to be the band's namesake. For their part, Kings of Leon have easily embraced their rock stardom.
Caleb observed, "Everything has been done. We've toured with Bob Dylan, who is the most minimal, and U2, which is the biggest of the bigs. Pearl Jam is kind of the happy medium, but they move around a lot more than us. Eddie Vedder has a death wish – he'll swing from the rafters. If someone throws a cake on stage, he'll run and go slide right through it."
Jared jokingly added, "That's where we draw the line. How is it going to make our hair look?"
For this summer's outing, the Followills are pretty psyched by their touring partners: "We're all big fans of Band of Horses and have tried to get them for every tour, but it hasn't worked out until now," Nathan said. "They are really sweet guys and we can't wait to turn them into alcoholics."
The tour starts off in the South – Orange Beach, Ala. on July 25 to be exact. Then, the Kings of Leon play Atlanta before hopping over to Texas for two shows. The routing brings them back to the Southeast and up the Atlantic seaboard.
Along the way toward the Northeast, the Kings of Leon rock Charlotte, Virginia Beach, and Washington D.C. Once up the coast, Wantagh hosts Kings of Leon at Jones Beach on August 10.
Other stops in the Northeast find Kings of Leon in Camden, Hartford, Buffalo, Holmdel, and Saratoga. The only New England date has Kings of Leon in Boston on August 19.
From there, the boys make their way across the upper Midwest. Along the way, Kings of Leon play Detroit, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Indianapolis before dipping down into Kansas for a show in Bonner Springs.
The West welcomes Kings of Leon to Red Rocks just outside Denver on August 31 and September 1. Two days later, Las Vegas gets Kings of Leon and Band of Horses at Mandalay Bay. Though California boasts three dates, Arizona has only one and Oregon gets none.
Things wind down on September 12 in Seattle, although a string of dates in Canada are planned for September, as well.
Kings of Leon with Band of Horses tour dates:
July 25 - Orange Beach, AL - The Wharf
July 27 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron's Lakewood Amphitheater
July 29 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion
July 30 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
August 2 - Tampa, FL - 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
August 3 - West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheater
August 5 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
August 6 - Virginia Beach - Farm Bureau Live
August 9 - Washington DC - Jiffy Lube Live
August 10 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon @ Jones Beach
August 12 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
August 13 - Hartford, CT - Comcast Theatre
August 16 - Buffalo, NY - Darien Lake PAC
August 17 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
August 19 - Boston, MA - Comcast Center
August 20 - Saratoga, NY - Saratoga Performing Arts Center
August 23 - Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Center
August 24 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
August 26 - Chicago, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
August 27 - Indianapolis, IN - Verizon Wireless Music Center
August 29 - Bonner Springs, KS - Sandstone Amphitheater
August 31 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
September 1 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
September 3 - Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay
September 4 - San Diego, CA - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
September 6 - Phoenix, AZ - Ashley Furniture Home Store Pavilion
September 8 - Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
September 10 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
September 12 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena