Bending the Rules of Rock

Kings of Leon
Opera House
March 2, 2005
The night began at Degrassi, and I'm not talking high school. Trying to find parking near the fan-drenched Opera House last night was a treat, with every empty spot looking like a trench from war. Upon finding a spot on Degrassi, we got severely stuck in the deep snow and ice rink Toronto has been calling its streets lately. It was fun times my friends digging with a neighbours plastic shovel, the smell of burnt rubber lingering for nearly 20 minutes. We did however finally escape and made it to the "sold out gig of the week". For the record, Kings of Leon are nothing like their CD when you hear them live. I strongly suggest seeing a live show before listening/purchasing the CD. The boys are rebels with the cause of instilling the grimy paws of rock 'n' roll back into position. Jared Followill (bass) and Nathan Followill (drums), I believe, were the stars of the evening, because all you hear is the complete beauty of rhythm and the pulse of a talented drummer when you're on the top balcony at Opera House.

Caleb Followill (lead vocals) had a Jack White thang going on with his bluesy vocals, pointy black boots, lanky frame, and perfectly straight long haired locks. The audience mouthed the words, moshed upfront, and waved lighters at the band. What surprised me was Opera House was letting these rockers smoke, because mid-set Jared and Nathan passed each other a cigarette and puffed smoke in the air like there was no tomorrow. I guess respecting Toronto's bylaws doesn't apply to these "southern" rockers. Even more rock tension mounted when Caleb, before his encore performance threw his mic down at the stage, nearly impaling a nearby bouncer. Overall, it was a great live show with the rhythm taking my heart and respect if nothing else.

Writer: Lindsay Whitfield

Photo:Paul Whitfield

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