News Column

Kings of Leon and Fred Armisen Announced as Next American Express Unstaged Pairing

July 30, 2013

YellowBrix

Live VEVO Event on YouTube Streamed Globally on August 9th from London

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- American Express, in partnership with VEVO and YouTube, announced today that Kings of Leon and Fred Armisen have been selected as the next pair in its popular live stream music series "American Express Unstaged." Kings of Leon's exclusive performance will be live streamed from Shepherd's Bush in London at 4:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM PT on Friday, August 9 at www.amexunstaged.com directed by Fred Armisen. Fans can watch the live event on YouTube's iOS and Android apps as well as its mobile website, VEVO's free apps for iPhone(R), iPad(R) and Xbox 360, and on the American Express Channel, available through the American Express app on LG connected TVs. The global event precedes the highly anticipated September 24th release of MECHANICAL BULL (RCA Records).

"We're huge Fred Armisen fans and are really looking forward to working with him on this show," said band lead singer Caleb Followill.

Created by American Express as a means for delivering premium music experiences to fans everywhere, the "American Express Unstaged" music series is a cutting-edge live event and interactive digital platform, bringing together popular musical artists with renowned film directors. Armisen, best known for his work on "Saturday Night Live" and as the co-creator and star of IFC's "Portlandia," will make his return to "American Express Unstaged," this time as the director. Armisen made a surprise appearance during the "American Express Unstaged" performance that paired Vampire Weekend with director Steve Buscemi in April 2013.

"I was really impressed with the creative opportunities that a program like 'American Express Unstaged' offered," said Armisen. "I am excited to work with Kings of Leon to put together a really incredible show for fans worldwide."

American Express, in partnership with VEVO and YouTube, will continue to provide exceptional access to Kings of Leon fans and music enthusiasts worldwide through several pre-show and in-concert innovative digital features, unique experiences and one-of-a-kind content that further blur the line between an at-home and in-concert "American Express Unstaged" experience:

-- Exclusive Digital Content: Building anticipation of the night, fans can visit www.amexunstaged.com to enjoy a series of surprise videos leading up to the August 9th performance. -- Choose Your Cam: The audience can control their viewing experience throughout the show by switching between the director's main stream and alternate artist-themed vantage points. -- 360 degree Cam: There will be a 360o camera positioned on stage that at-home fans can control to see their own camera view. -- Backstaged: If enough fans Tweet using the hashtag #AmexUNSTAGED leading up to and during the live stream they will unlock a special piece of digital "Backstaged" content. This content will be available exclusively for the online audience and released on www.amexunstaged.com after the in-venue encore. -- Rebroadcast: Following the live performance, fans will be able to enjoy a special looped rebroadcast on www.amexunstaged.com. Following the rebroadcast, fans can watch clips of the concert on YouTube and the VEVO mobile application, and the American Express channel.

This will be the 13th innovative digital stream within the award-winning series and will build on previous duos such as Vampire Weekend and Steve Buscemi, The Killers and Werner Herzog, Kenny Chesney and Jonathan Demme, Jack White and Gary Oldman and many more.

For more information about American Express and music, please visit http://www.americanexpress.com/entertainment. Leading up to the August 9th performance, fans will be able to receive insider updates by connecting with American Express at www.amexunstaged.com, www.twitter.com/AmericanExpress or www.Facebook.com/AmericanExpress.

About Kings of Leon and their Upcoming Album MECHANICAL BULL

Comprised of three Followill brothers -- Caleb (guitar), Nathan (drums), and Jared (bass), as well as first cousin Matthew Followill (guitar) -- Kings of Leon formed in 2000. Oklahoma natives, the Followill siblings spent much of their youth traveling to churches across the South with their mother and father, a Pentecostal preacher. While growing up, the boys were only allowed to listen to church music, a rich combination of organs, guitars, pianos, basses, drums and horns. They relocated to Nashville in the late 90s and embraced their interest in rock music, which was denied to them as kids. Matthew was added to the lineup, and a Southern garage rock sound emerged. Kings of Leon's debut album Youth and Young Manhood was released in 2003 and became an immediate sensation in the UK and Ireland, where NME declared it "one of the best debut albums of the last 10 years" and The Guardian described the band as "the kind of authentic, hairy rebels The Rolling Stones longed to be". The group achieved opening spots for U2, Pearl Jam and Bob Dylan after the release of their sophomore album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, and continued to garner acclaim with Because of the Times, which debuted at No. 25 on the U.S. Billboard 200. In 2008, the group released Only By The Night, the record that catapulted the band into the mainstream. The multi-platinum-selling album debuted in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, hit No. 1 in five countries, sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide, and earned Kings of Leon four Grammy(R) Awards, including wins for their Modern Rock radio multi-week No. 1's "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody". The album's success also led to the band's gracing the covers of Spin and Rolling Stone, performances on Saturday Night Live, sold-out shows at New York City's Madison Square Garden, and headlining slots at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits festivals. On the heels of their most successful album to date, Kings of Leon continued to follow their own muse and refused to play it safe in their latest album Come Around Sundown. Keeping with their grand and propulsive rock sound combined with intimate post-punk moods, the album upped the ante by connecting the dots between the blues, classic rock and gospel influences of the Followills' childhood to the alternative and indie rock of their adulthood. Kings of Leon headlined Bottle Rock, Hangout Festival and Governor's Ball this past spring and will release their new record, Mechanical Bull, on September 24. The band debuted the album's first single, "Supersoaker," on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on July 22, and organized and headlined the Rock for Oklahoma tornado benefit concert that took place in Oklahoma City on July 23.

About "American Express Unstaged"

Kings of Leon's August performance represents the 13th installment within the innovative live stream music series "American Express Unstaged," which launched in the summer of 2010 in partnership with VEVO and YouTube. Bringing the in-concert and at-home viewing experiences to new heights, "American Express Unstaged" showcases some of the music industry's most breakthrough artists playing at landmark venues across the country, while tapping some of today's most influential filmmakers to direct the live streams and using digital and social media to connect the online audience to the live shows in unexpected ways.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, business travel, and corporate card.

About VEVO

VEVO is the world's leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform. VEVO is available in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom through VEVO.com, the mobile web, Mobile and Tablet Apps (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Kindle Fire), Connected Television (Xbox, Roku, Boxee) and user embeddable video players. VEVO TV, an always-on broadcast-style music and video channel, is also available in the US and Canada within VEVO.com and apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Kindle Fire, Xbox and Roku. In various territories, VEVO powers music videos on artist pages across Facebook, as well as syndicates to dozens of online sites, including AOL, BET, CBS Interactive Music Group (including Last.fm, Metro Lyrics and MP3.com), Disney Interactive, Fuse.tv, Univision, Viacom Media Networks, Wenner Media and Yahoo! Music. Additionally, through a special partnership with YouTube, VEVO is accessible in over 200 markets, expanding the platform's reach around the globe.

About YouTube

Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, CA and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.

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PMK-BNC Heter Myers, 212-373-6111 heter.myers@pmkbnc.com or American Express Caitlin Lowie, 212-640-2921 caitlin.m.lowie@aexp.com

Source: American Express

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