We assumed that the atmosphere at the Kings of Leon/Cassavettes show at the Paradise last night would be relaxed, in a “Hey, we won free tickets!” kinda way - mingling, PBR flowing freely to counteract mid-summer concert sweatiness, perhaps a shot or two, because Southern roots-rock warrants that kind of thing - but it was not so. The Kings, who backed out of their Best Music Poll gig and signed on for last night’s show to make up for it, riled up the crowd with an incendiary slew of old and new tunes - “Taper Jean Girl,” our personal fav, included - for all of 45 minutes, before everything fell apart.  It was unclear exactly what went down from our spot near the bar on the right side of the Dise, but apparently the KOL dudes were offended by group of people near the front of the stage, and consequently threw down their instruments, and stormed offstage in true diva-like fashion  (not unlike that whole Nickelback in Portugal thing, luckily no one threw rocks). The confused crowd stuck around, in hopes of an encore, then moved outside to figure out what the fuck just happened. So what the fuck did happen? The message boards are abuzz!  According to a poster on the official KOL board, happyalone:

“It was these collar popping ‘yeah’ guys who fucked us over. They were right behind me and made a circle at the end of the set and started doing some dumb frat dance. They were pretty much raping the girls next to me as well and would not stop shouting ‘Arizona’ or ‘Tony’ at Caleb.”

Over at lemmingtrail, the official word from KOL’s publicist is that the band was having “gear problems.”  Definitely sounds like a combination of annoying factors, but aren’t these things that rock bands have to, ya know, DEAL with?  These types of dramatic, pretentious antics would be expected from, say, Fall Out Boy, but not from a group of classic rock-loving brothers (plus one cousin) from Tennessee. With time to spare after KOL’s short-lived show, we hopped over to Great Scott in time to see Shout Out Out Out Out’s vocoderific electro-fied set. It was a stark contrast to the scene at the Dise: six Canadian dudes crammed onto a stage with two drum sets, and tons of electronic musical equipment we don't know the names for, eagerly dancing and dedicating songs to procrastination and the art of being broke, spurring the modest crowd (of broke procrastinators) to form a frenetic dance party. There were a few annoying shouts from the crowd, and the occasional gear issue, but the show went on - refreshingly, and non-pretentiously.  

UPDATE: Glenn Yoder, from the opening band Cassavettes, weighs in via his blog. A few highlights:

"The word coming from their techs was that they had lost a bunch of equipment on a plane in Japan. As a result, the were forced to spend what we were told was $9,500 on new equipment from Guitar Center the day of the show -- guitars and pedals, mostly. Each member of KOL's front line uses a veritable closet-full of effects and pedals (I got a good look at them up close and on stage), so obviously, they weren't too pumped at sound check that they couldn't get their normal tones. I understand this: A different pedal would make a total different sound, and it would piss anyone off.

What I've heard from people up close ranges from a) the band was spit at, b) someone threw something, or c) people were just getting on their nerves. Others have said they didn't look like they wanted to be there from the moment they stepped on stage, but hey, I say that might just be the careless rocker look many musicians try so hard to obtain. Anyhow, after having enough, the band apparently threw down their instruments and stormed off stage (one person says Caleb gave the crowd the finger).

Either way, as they streamed out, people were very nice to us and gave us the 'at least you're nice to fans' thing and signed the mailing list/bought merch, which was cool (hey man, we could use to profit from such a minor disaster in the grand scheme of things, I suppose)."

Read the full report here.

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