'I'm not a fan of the England football team so I'm really glad I left Kings of Leon show when I did'

Kings of Leon on stage at Manchester’s AO Arena
-Credit: (Image: Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News)

Kings of Leon were playing a packed venue but, despite the unforgettable set, it wasn't until the final 40 minutes of it that a section of the crowd became engaged.

Around the arena, you could see people with laptops, iPads and phones out - with their attention obviously elsewhere. Kings of Leon didn't deserve that as they put on a great show, as always (I was seeing them for the fifth time and have never walked away disappointed).

But last night I felt sorry for them having to deal with thousands of fans who looked keener on updates from the Euro 2024 semi-final. between England and the Netherlands. You'd have thought the biggest reaction of the night would have been for the popular single Sex on Fire — but that wasn't to be the case.

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I saw the opportunity of heading to Manchester for a gig as a great way to escape the football, but even before Kings of Leon got on stage I knew that wasn't going to be the case as news filtered through of Harry Kane's equaliser. The band ignored it throughout their performance but the celebrations started again, during one of their songs, as Ollie Watkins sealed England's place in the final.

A fan watching England vs Netherlands during Kings of Leon concert
A fan watching England vs Netherlands during Kings of Leon concert

Eventually, the band embraced the patriotic crowd and issued a message on the big screen to confirm the final score of the Euro 2024 semi-final, which sparked huge celebrations in the arena and a rendition from the crowd of 'Football's Coming Home' song, which I didn't enjoy.

I stood there in silence as thousands around me celebrated. If they were so invested in the football they should have stayed away and passed their tickets to someone who would have been more engaged.

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the England national team. So, when I returned to my car and learned that Sweet Caroline was being blasted after I had left the arena, I was actually relieved to have missed that moment.

The Kings of Leon UK tour setlist

  • Ballerina Radio

  • On Call

  • The Bucket

  • Taper Jean Girl

  • Revelry

  • Nothing to Do

  • My Party

  • Sex on Fire

  • Don’t Stop the Bleeding

  • Comeback Story

  • Pyro

  • Mustang

  • Molly's Chambers

  • Milk

  • Fans

  • Back Down South

  • Nowhere to Run

  • King of the Rodeo

  • Wait for Me

  • Split Screen

  • The Bandit

  • Find Me

  • Closer

  • Seen

  • Rainbow Ball

  • Waste a Moment

  • Knocked Up

  • Use Somebody