Kings of Leon to play Dubai

Massive US rock band to play one-off gig at Atlantis on Wednesday May 28

Knowledge story, The Knowledge
Knowledge story, The Knowledge
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Gigantic arena rock band Kings of Leon are to perform an outdoor gig in Dubai.

In what must surely be one of the final big gig announcements of the season, the band of brothers (and one cousin) will take to the stage at Atlantis the Palm on Wednesday May 28.

Going under the Live@Atlantis banner, the gig follows a huge set by Carl Cox this Friday (March 21) and Avicii’s forthcoming set on the sands on Friday April 4.


Kings of Leon were last spotted on these soils when they performed at the inaugural Abu Dhabi F1 in 2009.

With that gig at the height of the band’s success, the intervening five years have been far from quiet for the Followills.

Peaking in fame and exposure with 2008’s double whammy of radio-jammers ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’, and winning two UK Brit Awards for Best International Band and Best International Album a year later,  Kings of Leon found every mountain climbed must be tumbled back down.
Amid infighting and disorder the band pulled the plug midway through their 2011 US tour, going on a formal hiatus. Adding salt to the wound, their fifth LP, 2010’s Come Around Sundown, failed to produce a hit.

But the band once hailed as rock’s saving sons were far from down and out.

Three sons to one mother, that is – Caleb, Jared and Nathan Followill all also descendants of grandfather Leon, geddit, plus cousin Mathew on guitar – struck back last year with album number six Mechanical Bull, a stripped back return to their roots which picked up largely positive reviews, and are now gearing up for an epic US and European tour this summer.

Not bad for a group of sheltered kids who grew up a preacher’s offspring in rural Oklahoma and Tennessee – bassist Jarred was only 16 when the band’s first EP was released in 2003.

But together this family of misfit hillbillies caused a stir a decade back, adding a distinctly fresh indie kick to barnstorming Southern bumpkin rawk over two great albums, Youth and Young Manhood (2003) and Aha Shake Heartbreak (2004), which won the band the UK’s hipster vote and critical praise.

It was Because of the Times (2007) and Only by the Night (2008) which saw the Kings’ invade their homeland and the charts; at one time it seemed ‘Sex on Fire’ was obligatory listening at every party and shopping mall across the lands.

Now six albums in, the Followills carefully strafing the borderline between radio friendly unit shifters and credible mature rock, the Kings of Leon legacy seems secure for years to come – and after a five year wait this outdoor gig promises to be something rather special.

Tickets for the gig are priced at Dhs385 in advance and Dhs450 on the door, with VIP tickets priced at Dhs600, and go on sale on Monday March 24 at 9am from www.ticketmaster.ae and www.atlantisthepalm.com.

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