It’s OK if you had written Kings of Leon off – a lot of people did. After their 2011 meltdown and subsequent hiatus, many thought the brothers Followill had called it quits. Yes, singer Caleb got sick and walked off stage in the middle of a set and the band subsequently cancelled full legs of their worldwide tour. As the band explains it, they were simply exhausted. Years of constant touring and legitimate vocal problems for Caleb had strained the band and they needed a break. However, while their break was portrayed as a break-up by the media, the band actually was back together working on new material only a few months later.
Being out of the spotlight turned out to be a good thing for the band. Its last album, Come Around Sundown, was well received by critics but failed to score major crossover hits such as “Sex On Fire” and “Use Somebody” from Only By The Night. It also departed from many of the elements fans originally fell in love with in favor of a bigger sound fit for arenas. On its new album, Mechanical Bull, Kings of Leon have returned to their roots and the result is a greatest hits album of sorts. Rather than actually gathering their old hits, the band has written new songs that borrow from various aspects of their whole discography.
The band has not announced a full tour in support of the album yet – and perhaps that is a good thing given how the last one ended – but they do have a handful of festival dates lined up this fall. The brothers will hit the stage in New York’s Central Park on Saturday for the Global Citizen Festival before playing both weekends of the Austin City Limits Festival and wrapping up October in Las Vegas for the Life Is Beautiful Festival.