Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kings of Leon enforce strict rules at Booth Amphitheatre

We weren't at the Kings of Leon show last night (as you might be able to guess from our review of the Cat's Cradle's show), but after reading this recently submitted comment about the show, I'm really curious about how it went.
"The Kings of Leon must have some egos. The rules at the Booth Amphitheatre made the [show] an afterthought. No chairs, no water bottles, no blankets bigger than a towel, all beer poured in cups, etc. They really had no idea where they were playing - they eliminated the whole point of Booth Amphitheatre." [Click here for full remarks.]
Teresa Franzen, the venue's publicist, confirms that the rule changes — no chairs, beer bottles, water bottles (basically nothing you can throw at the band), or large blankets (for fear fans might set them on fire—seriously) — are true and were all requested by the group. In fact, she said the band changed its mind about allowing blankets around 4 p.m. yesterday, deciding that only beach towels were permissible.

To the venue's credit, Franzen said they had a station out front where people could check in their chairs or other contraband items so they wouldn't have to trek them back to the car, and that people were amply warned about most of the rules (aside, of course, from the last-minute blanket change).

So to all this I say, Really, Kings of Leon??? You charge $45 for a freaking lawn seat (I'm sorry, you're not that good.) and then don't allow people a chair to sit in. (I know, it's rock, you're not supposed to sit—whatever.) Sounds like the group needs to get their egos in check before their attitudes get the best of them. But sadly, adding this story I've heard with others about the group's antics, I'm not surprised.

To those of you who were at the show, am I making a whole lot out of nothing and these rules weren't that bad? Oh yeah, and how was the music?!?


Jonathan said...

i didn't have much of a problem with the lack of chairs. i showed up halfway through walkmen's set and walked right up to the barricade and patiently waited for kings to come on. i was actually relieved they didn't have the chairs set up so it was like a standing room only setting, which was nice.

being right next to the stage, the sound was low to say the least by fault of koka booth. i could easily hear the chatter of people around me. when the crowd cheered, i could barely hear the band play. caleb's mic was turned down so low that i found myself singing the words in my head to make the musical connection.

the band themselves seemed happy to play the venue but the energy was low and didn't have that "wow" factor like wilco did when they played koka booth last year. i probably would have been very angry if i had paid for tickets but i got mine for free. i wouldn't go see them again though.

i saw the citizen cope, vanessa carlton, annuals show at uncw this past saturday and by comparison, cope blew kings of leon out of the water as far as stage presence, set length, and overall musical talent.

i didn't find much of an ego exuding from kings but there performance was bland, as if it were just another show to them, which it clearly was.

Revolu said...

Yea I'd have to agree with Jonathan. Not much ego really in the set. And I didn't really have a problem with the rules and found that I could walk right into the pit as well.

The only complaint would be the sound which Jonathan mentioned above which was to Cary's fault due to sound ordinances.

I thought it was well worth it. The cats are well rehearsed and put on a fine show I might say. Tickets were steep i would agree though. But to see them that close in a venue like that, I figured it'd be the last time.

tommygibson said...

The lack of chairs, blankets, etc. was not a problem. This was supposed to be a rock show, not a film festival. However, the "all beers must be in cups" rule was unbelievably inconvenient. I missed most of The Walkmen because it took 20 minutes to get my first (and only) beer. I've come to accept the crazy prices for beer at concert venues, but a 20-25 minute wait for service is unconscionable. The bartenders were all working as fast as they could. This clusterf**k was the result of the ego-tripping Kings Of Leon.
The one bit of good news: This was my first visit to Koka Booth during which I didn’t have to climb over soccer moms on their cell phones or trip over their obnoxious children.

As for the music? Uninspired. Their performance sounded so much like their albums, they might as well have lip-synched the whole show. Maybe they did. I couldn't tell. Caleb made a comment about how they were “told not to turn their amps up too far”, but that this was “a rock show!” … Yeah, not so much. More volume wouldn’t have helped them. I just started listening to Kings a few weeks ago. I saw that they’re playing ACL and I wanted to get familiar with their work. I want my money back.

Anonymous said...

i didn't even bring a chair - i expected to stand the whole time and even if you did bring a chair, you would have had to move it when you stood up because people were moving all around.

the beer in cups was ridiculous. it really did take 20 minutes to get a beer. sure it only takes 30 seconds to pour the beer in the cup..but multiply that by the 50 people standing in line and you've got a problem. does anyone know why they made that rule in the first place?

Valerie said...

As Teresa explained it, the basis behind the beer in cups rule is so concertgoers can't throw the bottles at the stage. It's...pretty ridiculous. Does anyone know if they were selling water bottles or those little wine bottles, or did all that have to be in cups too?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why they were putting the bottled water in a cup (and didn't even provide a lid!) - that was annoying. I also experienced a super slow beverage line (not very long, just slow) but thought it was b/c there was only one staff at my line and many people ordering mixed drinks, which take longer to make. When I got the e-mail from ticketmaster about the rules, I thought they were weird too, especially the no blanket thing. I personally think that lawn chairs are annoying and like blankets better for concerts, but I stood up throughout the show anyway. I thought the show itself was great. They sounded great and I could here the music and the vocals fine from where I was at (on the lawn between the pit and the covered seating). The band expressed that they had a good time too and assured they would be back. It was a gorgeous night so that helped. I'm glad I went, it was fun.

Anonymous said...

Loved the bands, hated the venue/people.

I thought ego was minimal. The sound got better after the Walkmen got off(which was sad cause they're so good), when they finally realized everyone would talk through the entire night. I don't think it was the bands fault just I love outdoor concerts but this one was filled with a lot of assholes and jerks. I loved how Jonathan used patiently which was definitely not the case for majority of the crowd. I was actually hoping most people would be at the hockey game but didn't end up so.

If you were a true concert goer you didn't need those damn blankets cause you were dancing to music. As for the price it was a bit steep especially when you add on all of the fees from buying it through ticketmaster. I did have confusion about the water bottles because once I got there I just went ahead a bought another water bottle without having to put it in a cup. Weird. I truly think this concert would have been AMAZING at another venue. Especially one that isn't in Cary.

As for returning they mentioned several times and even promised, but we've all heard that before.

Eric said...

The no chair or blanket thing was a surprise at first, but once I got to the show I was happy about it. It created more of a club/festival atmosphere, which is good b/c KOL isn't the type of band you sit on a blanket and listen to.

The sound flat-out sucked, thanks to Cary regulations.

I was standing up front in the "pit" and I thought the crowd was pretty low-key, which was part of the problem. My guess is that there were a lot of newer KOL fans there (nothing against them), so less enthusiasm as a result.

This band's sound is perfect for a small/medium-sized club like the Cradle or the Orange Peel, but not so sure Koka's a good venue for them. I would love to see them at Lincoln Theater.

Anonymous said...

The music was pretty good although I do agree with the person who said it was exactly like the album with no creativity for the live show. They didn't show egos on stage but I guess you could say they must be pretty arrogant to charge so much and to request so many ridiculous rules. I won't see them again just for that reason. They're a good band but not that good. I myself like to stand during shows with that type of music but who am I to say you shouldn't sit. It's music - you can hear it just as good either way and some ppl like dancing and jumping and some ppl are more reserved. Their manager should have researched the venue and area and would've realized the no bottle rule and others were not necessary. The concert wasn't in the UK where they throw stuff on stage if they like the band and riot if their soccer team doesn't win. Cary is about as conservative and uptight as you can get.

Jay said...

This post really highlights the difference between rock shows in America and the rest of the world. I'm trying to imagine bringing a chair to an outdoor show in the UK, Ireland or anywhere else in Europe...a friggin' chair?! Or a blanket?! Surely that's limited to the over-70's? So funny...

Unfortunately in Europe we are used to bottles being confiscated at all shows - indoor or outdoor. Everything has to be poured into a cup and bottletops are confiscated. It's a real pain in the ass, especially at weekend festivals where you can't even bring in water bottles. But sadly the policy seems to be here to stay.

As for the ticket price of$45 , tickets for KOL shows are almost double that in Ireland, and have been for years. They're probably the most popular band in the country here and they don't charge more than any other rock bands, so we just have to cough up the cash... :(

Eric said...

yeah, I think you're riffing a bit much about the all of the blanket, lawn business. And as for Caleb commenting about it being a "rock show"--it was merely a rock star antic, because it really didn't sound like he did anything to fix the volume.