The Global Citizen Festival got a big rock-and-roll jumpstart with Kings of Leon on Saturday (September 28). Around 60,000 people gathered in New York City’s Central Park for a full night of music dedicated to a cause — ending worldwide poverty.
The four-piece started off with their newest single, “Supersoaker,” but they soon took it back to their earlier days with “The Bucket,” a midtempo jam featuring quick hits on the toms and tambourine and classic KoL guitar work.
But the real rock show started when the scruffy family band slammed right into “Don’t Matter.” With Nathan banging away on the drumset, lead singer Caleb rode over the cymbal crashes with an electrifying guitar solo on his Gibson.
A massive “O,” the festival’s logo, formed the frame of the stage. Actor Gerard Butler faced the crowd, squinting into the sun to announce the band. Other celebs, like Katie Holmes, showed up earlier in the day to support the cause, addressing different solutions and goals for the Global Citizen movement.
Kings of Leon just did what they do best, providing hits from their past and new ones from Mechanical Bull, like the shuffling, rhythm-heavy “Family Tree” and the slower, echo-y “Beautiful War.” The played “Sex on Fire” as a sing-along and “Use Somebody” to end the set.
Other performers to take the stage will be Alicia Keys, John Mayer and Stevie Wonder. For those not hanging in Central Park, you can watch online at Global Citizen‘s website and on TV with Palladia. Follow @Paladia for more updates and don’t forget to tweet that you’re watching using the hashtag #GlobalCitizen.