Published Oct 01, 2003If there is indeed a rock'n'roll high school, decades from now its instructors will use the Kings of Leon/Jet tour as a comparative dichotomy of rock revivalism. The lesson being: pilfering the genre's annals is a tricky business and the Southern rockers in Kings of Leon provide an ideal paradigm for success, but if it's hackneyed vapidity you're after, Jet's your band. Case studies on crowd involvement indicate that the Followill boys in the Kings leave between verse emotive "yeeeeeaaaahs!" to fans, Jet, however, find it necessary to inject them independently and with redundant frequency. Further investigation into stage activity shows that the Kings actually employ personal movement, while the arena-rocking antipodeans in Jet stand around looking at each other and, occasionally, their instruments. All of Kings guitarist Matthew Followill's solos see him doing his best impression of a deer that's been shot in the ass; set-closer "Trani" even had all three mobile Kings' members writhing on the ground like a Benny Hinn prayer hour. Jet's high points of "Rollover D.J." and "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" gave us little more than a spare head shimmy and toe tap. Finally, neither band exhibits much originality but at least KOL keep things interesting with cross-genre new-wave bass lines ("California Waiting") and "caught in a wolf trap" vocals, whereas Jet just sounds like a Sloan cover band. I saw Jay Ferguson talking to the boys at the bar, perhaps he wanted royalties.