10 Reasons to love: Kings Of Leon, Closer (Live on Letterman)

If you can’t think of ten, you don’t really love it.

  1. The distinctive opening (low) woop-woop-woop-woop-woop- (high) woop-woop-woop which twists through the entire song, a bit like a boa constrictor coiling around you, drawing you tighter (and closer) into this tune.
  2. We get an opening shot of Jared Followill on bass (never a burden on the eye), holding said instrument proudly up for the three note riff, which doesn’t actually seem to come from his guitar, but from the keyboard. There’s some clever trickery going on here, but I can keep looking at Jared while I try and work it out…
  3. Next we get a shot of keyboard player, Christopher Coleman, who looks smug as hell jigging about holding a beer bottle. You can just tell that he knows they are about to deliver a cracker of a song and he’s proud as punch about it.
  4. Hang on – what the heck?!?! Next we see Matthew Followill doing what …? Kissing his guitar? He breathes onto the pick ups to give the most eerie wailing sound, which fits beautifully with the spooky nature of the song. O-M-G just a beautiful musical moment.
  5. The song is supposedly about a lovesick vampire, and has evocative lyrics which set the scene better than any stage instructions:

    Stranded in this spooky town
    Stoplight is swaying and the phone lines are down
    Floor is crackling cold
    She took my heart, I think she took my soul
    With the moon I run
    Far from the carnage of the fiery sun

    Driven by the strangle of vein
    Showing no mercy I’d do it again
    Open up your eyes
    You keep on crying
    Baby I’ll bleed you dry
    Skies are blinking at me
    I see a storm bubbling up from the sea

    And it’s coming closer
    And it’s coming closer

    You shimmy-shook my boat
    Leaving me stranded all in love on my own
    Do you think of me
    Where am I now
    Baby where do I sleep
    Feels so good but I’m old
    Two thousand years of chasing taking its toll

    “Crackling cold”, “Strangle of vein” and “Shimmy-shook my boat” – fabulous imagery.

  6. Caleb Followill’s vocal is as sexy as hell.
  7. At the back watching over things is Nathan Followill, looking like the perfect love child of Dave Grohl and Jesus. Yes that’s a lot of Followills – three brothers (Caleb, Nathan and Jared) plus cousin Matthew. They could have become preachers like Father Followill, in which case they’d have caused many to convert to a religious cause and probably had the best church music in the States.
  8. At 2:48, yes, we know that Jared is still very handsome and very proud of his bass and that Christopher is still laughing his head off at their brilliance.
  9. At the end it really kicks off with Matthew giving us a rather awesome guitar solo and Nathan’s leather clad hand bashing the life out of his cymbal.
  10. This song wasn’t even a single. THAT’S how brilliant an album Only By The Night was.


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