Kings of Leon lit up the 2013 EMAs in Amsterdam Sunday (October 10) with a stirring rendition of their Mechanical Bull track “Beautiful War.”
The performance — which went down in Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome — started out in subdued fashion, the band shrouded behind a screen on a kind of theater-in-the-round stage. As the intensity of the jam built, however, the screen lifted, sparks raining down on the band like fireworks in reverse.
The stage set then took on as aesthetic similar to that of “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” replete with red, pulsating flames projected on screens and pyrotechnics that seemed to be synched with drummer Ivan Nathan Followill’s pulsing beats. Followill, meanwhile, remained cool and collected under fire — quite literally — blowing a bubble mid-drum fill. As the song wrapped up, the fire and flames only intensified, recalling the finale of a Fourth of July fireworks display.
Back in June, Followill spoke with MTV News about their new record, commenting on Mechanical Bull and how the album is reminiscent of some of the band’s older tunes. “They like the energetic direction they’re going in, which is like our earlier stuff; going in to this record we knew we wanted to have fun and make songs that are fun to play on stage,” Followill said of his fans. “We challenged ourselves quite a bit.”
Well, it certainly looked like the guys were having a blast among all the literal blasts.
Kings of Leon is nominated for Best Rock Band, along with Black Sabbath, Green Day, Queens of The Stone Age and The Killers.