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Kings of Leon at Cruzan Amphitheatre August 3

It's beyond funny that pigeons shat on Kings of Leon. But the KOL backlash is one we will never, ever understand. Seriously, what's not to like?

The main rub against Caleb Followill and crew is that they're sellouts, that they went on major tours with Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, and U2 and thought to themselves, How in hell can we get back to this level, playing in front of 30,000 people? And then they went into the studio, recorded "Sex on Fire," and earned stadium status.

Yes, it's a quantum leap from the dirty rock of sophomore album Aha Shake Heartbreak to the arena rock of Because of the Times. But Kings of Leon went for the mainstream and got there with good music. "Black Thumbnail" is arguably among the best stadium-size tracks of the decade. Come Around Sundown and Only by the Night might not be as strong, but they're hardly the shameful plea for stardom they're made out to be. There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, especially when it results in show-stoppers such as "Camaro," "Fans," and "Mary."


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