Kings of Leon Bring Arena-Size Rock Anthems to South Florida

Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon Photo by Matthew Followill
The pandemic may have brought Kings of Leon’s touring plans to a halt last year, but that certainly didn’t keep Jared Followill from having one hell of a year.

Beginning in 2020, the youngest brother and bassist of the family-filled rock quartet sold his house, got married, welcomed his first child, Adeline, into the world, and bought a new home on a golf course south of Nashville.

“I was just kind of sitting on my hands trying to figure out what to do... if I’m not doing music,” Followill tells New Times. “Now we’re getting back to the grind, and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

Back in March, Kings of Leon released their eighth studio album, When You See Yourself. Full of arena rock-esque anthems and massive riffs, the album is primed for big venues.

Luckily for fans, the band will kick off its When You See Yourself tour — with Cold War Kids as support — on Tuesday, August 3, at iThink Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. It marks the first full show for the band since a stop in Oklahoma City in September 2019.

Where some groups have been periodically gathering to jam or have taken to streaming platforms throughout the pandemic, Kings of Leon have been comparatively quiet. However, heading into the tour, things are ramping up big-time.

“I’m already trying to make some excuses, but I’m probably going to be a little rusty after a few years off,” Followill says with a laugh. “We went from our A-game down to about our D-game. Over the past two months, we’ve kind of chipped our way back up, and I’d say we’re at about a B-plus. We’ll hit our A-game before West Palm.”

Among what the band is looking forward to, according to Followill, are the outdoor vibes, sunsets every night, and a “fun release after being pent up for so long.” While clearly on the heels of a new record, there’s also a promise of “not hitting people over the heads with just new songs.”

So, for the Kings of Leon loyalists, that means you can probably count on some of its biggest hits throughout the past two-plus decades like “Sex on Fire,” “Use Somebody,” and “Waste a Moment.”

Looking ahead, Followill is looking to improve his golf game — which he describes as “terrible... but I enjoy it” — and may hit the links while in Florida. He’s also big into the cryptocurrency realm. In fact, Kings of Leon made headlines this year when When You See Yourself became the first new album ever to be released as a nonfungible token (NFT).

As for Followill’s advice on the crypto market and perhaps life in general?

“I’m riding the wave just like everyone else,” he admits. “I will say this, if you do enter the cryptocurrency world, try to forget it. If you look at it every day it may drive you crazy.”

Kings of Leon. With Cold War Kids. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 3, at iThink Financial Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach, 561-795-8883. Tickets cost $20 to $90 via
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.