The 2003 version of Kings of Leon would be at home in any shady Indianapolis bar with their rootsy garage stomp; their sound was rockabilly with a modern edge, loud and fast but laced with a back country twang. The 2010 Kings of Leon, on the other hand, are better suited to the most massive of Indianapolis music venues such as the Old National Centre, The Vogue, or the Verizon Wireless Music Center, which is exactly where they’ll be playing with The Black Keys and The Whigs this Friday, September 3rd. To see three of the 2000’s best garage bands in their shiny new genres, come see Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, and The Whigs at the Verizon Wireless Music Center.
|Music video for “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon; Kings of Leon will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend|
Back when Kings of Leon first rose to prominence with the 2003 release of Youth and Young Manhood, they were hailed as the Southern fried version of The Strokes, a pretty high accolade at the time considering The Strokes were thought to be the “saviors of rock and roll” by many music critics. 2004’s Aha Shake Heartbreak further cemented their reputation as the South’s garage band of choice, but the band switched gears with 2007’s Because of the Times. Since then, the Followill brothers (and one Followill cousin) have only gotten bigger, both in their album sales and in the scope of their sound.
|Video of Kings of Leon performing “Joe’s Head” live in 2003; Kings of Leon will be playing near Indianapolis this weekend|
Because of the Times brought a streamlined arena rock sound to the previously grimy group, introducing slightly more sophisticated compositions while removing a lot of the intensity and swagger of their earlier records. 2008’s Only By the Night further simplified the spacious style begun by Because the Times with repetitive guitar hooks and anthemic, poppy choruses. Only By the Night injected Kings of Leon firmly in the mainstream; the album reached the top 10 in 10 different countries, earned awards from Indianapolis media and other publications, and lead single “Sex on Fire” won a Grammy. The change in style alienated many original fans but spawned a legion of Indianapolis radio-loving new ones who will likely swarm the Verizon Wireless Music Center on Friday.
|Video of Kings of Leon performing “Cold Desert” live in 2008; Kings of Leon will be playing near Indianapolis this weekend|
The Black Keys, on the other hand, have followed a similar sonic evolution with vastly different results. The band started out as a simple garage duo of guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. The group created their own breed of electrified Delta blues (heavily influenced by Junior Kimbrough) throughout their first three albums, The Big Come Up, Thickfreakness, and Rubber Factory. There were the obvious comparisons to The White Stripes, but The Black Keys continued to forge their own path, switching to a ballsier psychedelic rock sound with 2006’s Magic Potion.
|Video of The Black Keys performing “Your Touch” live; The Black Keys will be playing near Indianapolis this weekend|
In 2008, the band collaborated with producer Danger Mouse to release Attack and Release, a genre blending record that preserved a lot of The Black Keys’ trademark stripped down blues riffage while adding lots of new elements, including digital loops, supporting instruments, and other modern touches. Brothers came out this year, bringing The Black Keys further into soul and funk territory with catchy tracks like “Howlin’ for You” and “Tighten Up.” Unlike Kings of Leon, The Black Keys have been able to evolve their sound while still creating interesting, original music. Of the two big name bands playing at the Verizon Wireless Music Center, the Keys will mostly likely put on the better show for Indianapolis music fans.
|Video of The Black Keys performing “Tighten Up” on David Letterman; The Black Keys will be playing near Indianapolis this weekend|
Supporting Kings of Leon and The Black Keys at this Indianapolis event will be Athens, GA based garage trio The Whigs. The band is no stranger to touring in the big leagues; they’ve played with Yo La Tengo, The Hold Steady, Tokyo Police Club, Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket, and Kings of Leon. Their latest album, In the Dark, was released in March of 2010 and received somewhat mediocre reviews. The Whigs should be a perfect compliment to Kings of Leon and The Black Keys.
|Video of The Whigs performing “Right Hand On My Heart” live at Forecastle; The Whigs will be playing near Indianapolis this weekend|
So if you like a little soul with your teeming arena concert, head to the Verizon Wireless Music Center on Friday, September 3rd to see Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, and The Whigs. Kings of Leon will fulfill your wildest arena anthem dreams, while The Black Keys will amaze you with the emotive guitar work of Auerbach and the rhythmic calisthenics of Carney. Tickets range from $35 to $55, and the show starts at 7:30. You won’t find a concert this big in Indianapolis this weekend, so you’ll have to head to Noblesville to catch Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, and The Whigs all in one massive place.
Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, The Whigs at Verizon Wireless Music Center
Friday, September 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35 – $55
Verizon Wireless Music Center
12880 E 146th St
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