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ACL Fest Preview: Kings Of Leon - Didn't Think We Were Going to Forget Them, Did You?

It's hard to believe that just a handful of years ago, these Tennessee boys were playing a free Camel-sponsored show at Meridian, and now they are not only nearly selling out the Toyota Center a few blocks over for their date next Tuesday, but they are also enjoying the closing spot on Friday night's ACL schedule. The band began as little more than what music critics called a "southern-fried Strokes"; however, this was a desperately lazy and tired description and in hindsight seems extremely shortsighted, seeing that the family Followill would end up dwarfing the Strokes in scope and popularity. But back in the early part of this decade, every young virile band that played shambling rock and roll and had long hair got some sort of "[Blank] Strokes" tag.

[Ed. note: Are the Strokes even a band anymore? Does anybody know?]

With last year's massive selling

Only By The Night

, the Kings officially went above-ground and came out swinging with singles such as "Sex On Fire" and "Use Somebody." The latter was even strangely and clumsily covered by Nickelback during the band's tour this past spring. Sadly the backlash has begun to swing onto KOL, with the band being described now as the "indie-rock Nickelback" by

Spin

magazine just a few months back.

8:30 p.m. Friday, October 2, LIVESTRONG East Stage; with White Lies, 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 6, at Toyota Center, 1510 Polk, 866-446-8849 or www.toyotacentertix.com.

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