FIB Benicássim had everything on day three, hot weather, reasonably priced drink and a good atmosphere. Unfortunately the buzz died when Kings of Leon hit the stage.
Campers woke up on Saturday expecting to see an exciting performance from headliners, Kings of Leon.
After sweltering in stuffy tents and escaping to the golden sanded beach, the atmosphere across the campsites were one of excitement, ahead of what could have been a memorable night of going through the best of Kings of Leon’s extensive discography.
There had been a lot of criticism from Benicássim’s dedicated fans regarding the line-up for 2019. So when it was revealed that on day three that Kings of Leon, Blossoms and You Me At Six were pencilled in to play, it didn’t seem all that bad.
Blossoms have been taking the UK and Ireland by storm since they roared on to the scene in 2016. They blew Benicássim away in 2017 on the Las Palmas Stage and all was set for them to do so again two years on.
The Stockport band lit up Benicássim, with funky indie rock and induced the buzzing crowd into a frenzy of mosh pits and, lets call it questionable dancing.
Blossoms set was worthy of headlining, with a wild reaction to their breakout hit ‘Charlemagne’, to a smooth cover of Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’. They have played at the Spanish festival twice now and each time have impressed hugely. Maybe their third appearance might see them go one step further and claim a headline slot?
Saturday night headliners, Kings of Leon were an exclusive booking for Benicássim, with the festival being the ‘On Call’ rock band’s only festival show in Spain this year.
Now bands change, especially when they have been around for a long time, they have to keep things fresh. With that in mind, Kings of Leon’s last two albums were much softer in comparison to Youth & Young Manhood or Because of the Times, for example. Although some would say we haven’t had a decent record from the Nashville band since the latter.
Fair enough, we grow older, we mature and bands can’t always sing come up with new songs about sex, drugs and bar fights, at least not in the same way.
But while bands mightn’t be able to live up to that lifestyle forever, they can certainly still stun crowds with the songs they already have, which made us obsess over them for so long.
Kings of Leon certainly could have done that during their headline set at Benicássim on Saturday night. The key words there are “could have”.
What fans were treated to was a simple set where the songs that charted got an airing but the infamous tracks that once sent crowds into delirium got left behind. ‘Sex On Fire’ got the reaction that you’d expect from casual and diehard fans, while others were puzzled when there was no sign of the furious ‘Four Kicks’ or the emphatic ‘Black Thumbnail’.
Maybe it was just an experiment to mix things up but since there were no previews of what could be on their eighth album, then why not go all out with the songs that earned them headline slots around the world? Instead we were left with a PG friendly version as opposed to the more explicit version of the band we know.
In terms of each Followill’s performance, frontman Caleb still sounded sharp, drummer Nathan and bassist Jared showed no signs of rusting and guitarist Matthew played with a grin and flare all the way through.\
Yet it still felt underwhelming and tame for a band who were once so edgy and rock n roll through and through. Especially when the closing track was ‘Waste A Moment’ but ‘King of the Rodeo’ was, well left back at the rodeo.
You can’t blame festival organisers for a band’s set list choices but it will only add to music fans’ arguments that this year’s line-up has been disappointing when so much was expected.
Missed out on our review from days one, two and four at FIB Benicássim? Click on the links below to catch up.
Day one, featuring Fontaines D.C. and Fatboy Slim – Click here.
Day two, featuring The Big Moon and Lana Del Rey – Click here.
Day four, featuring George Ezra and Franz Ferdinand – Click here.
Check out the full gallery from day three at FIB Benicássim below.