EVER the rock stars, Kings of Leon kept fans waiting about an hour later than planned for the Wearside leg of their Come Around Sundown tour.
But they proved worth the wait for the 55,000-strong sell-out crowd at the Stadium of Light.
Plumes of red smoke heralded the American rockers’ arrival on stage in front of an adoring throng of gig-goers.
It was a show packed with pace and the four-piece whipped their way through a selection of tracks from fifth studio album Come Around Sundown as well as their more well-known hits.
Though the stage was minimal compared to Take That’s grandiose shows last month, it still had the usual rock star features of big screens and fancy flashing lights and allowed the music to shine.
Lead singer Caleb Followill charmed with his deep South lilt as he thanked “y’all” for coming along for a “beautiful night.”
Without a centre stage, more fans were packed on to the pitch than usual and they were showered with various liquids and good tunes including Fans, Taper Jean Girl, Black Thumbnail and 4kicks.
You couldn’t always hear the words very clearly – more down to the mammoth amps than the band’s enunciation – but it didn’t seem to bother the fans as the group performed to a sea of outstretched arms and jumping bodies.
Biggest reaction of the night was earned by anthemic sing-a-longs Use Somebody and Sex on Fire.
Fireworks shot into the sky as the band rounded off their set, a fitting close to this year’s explosive gigs at the home of the Black Cats.
In terms of rock and pop acts, they don’t come much bigger than Kings of Leon and Take That, but we’ll have to wait a few more months to find out whether the club is going to top them in 2012.