You've likely already heard one of the tracks off of their new album, Only By The Night, whether it's on the radio, in a bar, or while shopping your local apparel store. Kings of Leon are bigger than big in the UK, selling out arenas and topping the charts, but are still climbing in popularity at their home here in the States. However, they have celebrated some mainstream and commercial success here since their last album, Because of the Times, and due to the popularity of OBTN. Also adding to their cred, they have been nominated for three Grammy awards, including Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song for the single "Sex On Fire."
Kings of Leon is a family affair. The band is made up of three brothers: Caleb Followill (vocals/rhythm guitar), Nathan Followill (drums/backing vocal), Jared Followill (bass), and their cousin Matthew Followill (lead guitar). The group actually named themselves after their father and grandfather, both named Leon. The brothers grew up across the south, traveling to wherever their father, a Penecostal Church preacher, was scheduled to preach, which along with their settlement in Tennessee, significantly contributed to their southern rock sound. Their mother homeschooled them most of the time while they were on the road, which likely created a special bond between them, especially with their secluded, nomad-like childhood.
On Friday, Kings of Leon are playing a charity concert called Dare 2 Dream at the House of Blues Chicago. Proceeds from the event will benefit pediatric cancer treatment and research at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. What makes this concert a little different, and really caught my attention, is that the band isn't being paid—they're donating 100% of their artist fee.
Tickets for the event originally sold out in 12 minutes. Then, last Friday, a limited number of tickets were released for $200 ($250 for VIP) which are also since gone. The second wave of tickets were more expensive than the original cost of $150 ($200 VIP), but if that markup sounds like a lot, remember that the money is for charity and consider that cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among US children up to 15 years of age. Obviously, treating disease in a child is a completely different ballgame than treating full sized adults, and the physicians at Comer are experts in treating children and teens.
Dr. John Cumberland, MD Section Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Comer will be speaking before the band goes on and will be joined by kids who are at different stages of treatment. Caleb, Nathan, Jared and Mathew are also going to hang with some of the little ones at the hospital before the show and offer them some words of encouragement.
The Lisa Klitzky Foundation is just one of the sponsors of Dare 2 Dream. They recently helped open the Center for Survivor's of Childhood Malignancies at Comer that offers care and encouragement for adolescents after their cancer treatment has ended. It's a pretty cool program, because while it's tough being sick as a kid, it's also hard to adjust to a normal adolescence after treatment is complete and they're left recovering with physical as well as emotional challenges.
The Dare 2 Dream concert and silent auction takes place this Friday, January 24 at the House of Blues (329 N. Dearborn). The Whigs, who are joining Kings of Leon on the January leg of their US tour, will also join them for this show. The Jakes, chosen by online voting, will also open. The show begins at 7pm. (Sold out.) Call 312-923-2000 for more information.
About the Author:
Michelle escaped from small-town-Missouri to big-city-Chicago because she wanted to live in a city where she didn't need a car. Little did she know what a nightmare the CTA is. She can usually be found at a concert, on the beach, or under the bar. She also has a blog about -- get this -- music.