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Kings of Leon perform at Hyde Park in London

#CocoLive: Kings of Leon, BST Hyde Park, London

With a stellar lineup of indie rockers The Vaccines, Scottish singer songwriter Paolo Nutini and headline act Kings of Leon, there was never any doubt that the first weekend of live music at BST Hyde Park gig would set the tone for BST’s schedule of summer gigs and would be nothing short of spectacular. 

Despite the small (ish) matter of England versus Slovakia in the Euros, the sold out crowd at BST Hyde Park were entirely invested in all things music as opposed to all things football.

The first act we saw was the brilliant Vaccines who kicked off their set in their typical jaunty style. As well as playing fan favourites like Headphones, If You Wanna and Post Break-Up Sex, the elated crowd were also treated to tracks from their most recent album ‘Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations’ which was released earlier this year. There are still traces of their indie rock roots, but their sixth album has more of a dynamic West Coast vibe with tracks like Love to Walk Away personifying this 

Justin Hayward-Young of The Vaccines

Love to Walk Away and the effervescent Heartbreak Kid went down a storm, the band proved why they are one of the best bands in the UK and frontman Justin was in formidable form and worked the stage and the crowd throughout their 13 track set.

Twelve years on from his last appearance at Hyde Park, Scottish singer-songwriter Paulo Nutini made a triumphant return with a jam-packed set list which included some of his classic hits which sat effortlessly alongside his new material which in comparison to New Shoes and the fantastic Pencil Full of Lead had a distinctly heavier edge. Sonics aside, Paulo is a consummate performer who seemed to be having the time of his life on the BST Hyde Park stage.

This was my first time seeing US rockers Kings of Leon and they didn’t disappoint. This was a thrilling, high energy rock ‘n’ roll set and the Tennessee natives made an energetic return to BST Hyde Park, seven years on from their last barnstorming performance.

Kings of Leon kicked off proceedings with Ballerina Radio from their latest album, ‘Can We Please Have Fun’. Life-affirming and joyful,  is both a reaffirming mantra for the now-veteran Southern rockers, and a forceful sonic accomplishment that promised an awesome live delivery. 

This felt like an entirely immersive affair thanks to a fantastic atmosphere and the inclusion of a vibrant backdrop which featured waterfalls and volcanoes which made for quite the evocative visual.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon on stage at BST Hyde Park, Sunday 30th June 2024. Photo by Dave J Hogan/Hogan Media

It seemed the band were having as much fun as the sold-out crowd with the charismatic frontman Caleb remarking “I was hoping we’d have fun tonight… Didn’t have any idea we’d have this much fun.”

As if to demonstrate their renewed sense of purpose, the night began with that album’s soaring opener, Ballerina Radio, closely followed by On Call and The Bucket. This was a career-spanning set that was chock full of anthemic bit hitters like Sex on Fire and On Call as well as introducing new tracks such as Mustang and the emotive Splits Screen.

It was a seamless sonic navigation through the last two decades from the veteran Southern rockers who provided a real explosive energy throughout. The dynamic 29-song set was high-octane and thrilled the audience who sang and danced along to tracks like Sex on Fire and Taper Jean Girl which was a welcome tour debut.

After a dizzying set, the band returned for a gut-punch of an encore which included a beautiful rendition of Use Somebody and Waste a Moment,

This was a tour de force performance at London’s BST Hyde Park and a stellar showcase of just how expansive and compelling, the Kings of Leon back catalogue is.

Photo Credits- Dave Hogan, Ellie Koepke and HP van Velthoven