Kings of Leon
It took four albums, but the American public has finally grown to love Kings of Leon as much as the British press, which has been fawning over the Nashville quartet since its 2003 debut, Youth & Young Manhood. The band’s backstory has been packaged and sold along with the music: three home-schooled preacher’s sons (and a cousin) go from traveling the South doing God’s work to traveling the world playing the devil’s music, partying hard and fighting among themselves along the way. Lyrically, frontman Caleb Followill speaks in generalities and sings with a feigned accent, his voice straining and cracking with all the overwrought emotion of Bob Seger. The band itself has grown tighter with each album, channeling Creedence and U2 and shedding most of its Southern-rock sensibility for arena-rock ambition. Backing its platinum-selling Only By the Night, Kings of Leon is quickly becoming ubiquitous: headlining festivals, winning Grammys, topping modern rock charts, and playing huge venues like the Sprint Center, where the Kings play Tuesday.