When: Fri., Feb. 7, 8 p.m. 2014
It’s been more than four years since Kings of Leon played a proper hometown show. At the time of the band’s 2009 sellout at the then-named Sommet Center, the brothers and cousin Followill were on top of the world, touting a ubiquitous pair of hit singles and selling records like it was 1998, rendering them the first band to truly rebrand Nashville as a bona fide rock ’n’ roll incubator. But in the years since, KOL’s given Oasis a run for their money as rock’s pre-eminent headline-grabbing feuding fraternity, descending into an abyss of cliché, ivory-tower antics — ranging from drunken onstage meltdowns to tabloid spats and Twitter beefs with the likes of Sir Elton John and Glee creator Ryan Murphy — before retreating to start families, launch a local record label and grow up a little. All the while (and perhaps intentionally), the band has avoided landing another “Sex on Fire”-sized hit or yield another “Use Somebody”-esque monster ballad on the charts. This puts the Followills in a precarious purgatory, seeing as how the band long eschewed the edgy, indie cool (and cult following) of their Youth and Young Manhood days in favor of big, open arena-rock grandeur. Undaunted, on its latest, Mechanical Bull, the band rediscovered its identity somewhere between swinging for the fences with stadium-sized ballads à la “Beautiful War” and “Wait for Me,” and the tightly wound Aha Shake Heartbreak-throwback of rockers like “Supersoaker” and “Temple.” Tonight the band writes the latest chapter in its comeback story, returning to Bridgestone Arena a mere two stops into an arena tour that stands to either reinforce or reduce its standing as lasting rock legends.