Kings of Leon have been riding the Mechanical Bull tour since February, and when they made their second-to-last U.S. stop Friday (Oct. 3) at the Hollywood Bowl, they couldn’t settle for the same-old.
In July, the guys announced their Song for the City plan, which involves playing one new song at each tour stop, as requested by fans. Well, their fans couldn’t have asked for more than what they delivered: Coldplay‘s Chris Martin got behind the piano to play and sing on “Talihina Sky,” the rarely performed song that inspired the name of KoL’s 2011 documentary, and stuck around for “Notion” too.
“I hope you enjoyed that. That cost us a lot of money,” Kings frontman Caleb Followill joked as Martin left the stage with a modest bow.
Watch a taste of “Talihina Sky” below:
Just Jared is already reporting that rumored girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence joined Martin at the concert, shooting photos and video during rehearsals.
This isn’t the first time Martin has shared a stage with the Nashville rockers: He also joined them in March at Radio One’s One Big Weekend in Glasgow to perform “Fans.”
Martin and Kings of Leon make fitting bedfellows, considering the arena-rock vibe KoL has adopted over the past few years. With those larger venues comes the temptation to fill the space, and Caleb Followill’s booming voice often had to cut through the production noise cluttering the stage. Between laser light shows and over-edited big-screen videos, the stimulation factor was high. But many of the larger touches — especially the strings on “Milk” — fit like a glove.
The best numbers of the night, however, relied on the band’s considerable talents and the crowd’s enthusiasm. A notable example was “Mi Amigo”: The only thing on the video screens were close-ups of the band playing their instruments, and fans threw their beers up in the air to scream along with the “gone, gone, go on” line. (The ladies also wailed as Caleb sang the TMI lyric about his “big old di–,” but that’s neither here nor there.)
The Kings ended the main concert with the bombastic “Use Somebody,” with Caleb relying heavily on the crowd’s vocal assistance, and they wrapped up the encore with “Sex on Fire,” ending with some very literal pyrotechnics raining on the stage and blasting from the floor. The size of those two songs alone makes you realize: While some fans long for the days of KoL playing smoky rock clubs, they outgrew those venues long ago.
Kongos — in their last stop on the tour — and Young the Giant warmed up the crowd. Young the Giant, originally from Irvine, Calif., referred to the set as a “hometown” show. As he introduced the Hot 100 single “Cough Syrup,” Young frontman Sameer Gadhia said, “This one’s for all the people who have been with us from the very beginning, from the sh–ty shows at the Viper Room.”
Kings of Leon’s full set list:
“Taper Jean Girl”
“Sex on Fire”