After injury, Kings of Leon ready for stage
NEW YORK (AP) — A brotherly reunion is coming to the City of Brotherly Love: Family band Kings of Leon will play its first show Sunday in Philadelphia since drummer Nathan Followill injured his ribs.
The group will headline the second night of the “Budweiser Made In America” festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Kanye West and Steve Aoki will perform on the first night of the two-day festival over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Kings of Leon lead singer Caleb Followill said in an interview Friday that his younger brother is “doing good” since he broke his ribs after the band’s tour bus driver was forced to stop short when a pedestrian crossed the street in front of the vehicle.
“He has this protective gear that he’s wearing that’s there to help him,” Caleb said. ”(On Thursday), we went in (to rehearsal) and we kind of loosened up a little bit, played five or six songs. (On Friday), we went in and played more, but by the end of it he was definitely tired.”
The band includes youngest brother Jared Followill, who plays bass, and cousin Matthew Followill, who plays guitar. They cancelled two weeks of shows after the Aug. 9 incident and were set to mark a comeback on Thursday, but decided to postpone more shows.
“Hopefully he continues to heal,” Caleb said. “We’re going to throw a long set at him this weekend so he better bring his A-game, otherwise you’re going to have a three-piece up there with no drums.”
Following the Jay Z-curated festival, the Grammy-winning band will play 16 shows before their U.S. tour wraps Oct. 5 in Irvine, California. They’ve surprised each of the audiences on the current tour by playing an older song they hadn’t performed live in years, or a cover. They sang Robyn’s cult hit “Dancing On My Own” at Lollapalooza this summer.
Caleb laughs when asked if the group would perform a Jay Z song Sunday: “That would be a first for us.”
“I was online looking up all the artists that have come from Philadelphia,” he said of potential covers. “There’s quite a well of talent that has come out of that city.”
Sunday’s line-up in Philadelphia will also include Pharrell, Tiesto and Girl Talk. The festival, in its third year, will also play in Los Angeles over the weekend for the first time. Imagine Dragons will headline Saturday, and West will switch coasts to play Sunday.
Kings of Leon had its musical breakthrough in 2009 when the rock song “Use Somebody” crossed over to the pop charts and won three Grammy Awards, including record of the year. They released their sixth album, “Mechanical Bull,” last year, and Caleb said he’s been itching to write new songs.
“I am very excited for the future,” he said. “I think we’ll really go in there and write some songs we’re proud of, but at the same time, I’m ready to get back on the radio, so I want to write some hits.”
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