OKC Twitterati attacks TLO for pointing out cost of Kings of Leon concert…

Thursday was a long day.

I’ll spare you all the boring details, but highlights included:

• Dropping my car off at the dealership to get some warranty work done
• Hanging out with my 91-year-old grandpa, who drifts in and out of dementia
• Finding out my car would need to be kept at the dealership overnight and through the weekend
• Taking two Lyft’s across Oklahoma City that made me question the company’s employee hiring practices
• Hosting a private trivia event for a fun group in Bricktown
• Ubering over to my dad’s art show opening at Gaylord Pickens Heritage Museum
• Going home and pissing off the OKC Circle Jerk Twitter-mafia with a tweet about Kings of Leon

About that last one…

At one point during that long day, I chatted with a Mole about how much the Kings of Leon were being paid for their big free Scissortail Park concert. I had heard six-figures, but the Mole suggested it was way more. Without giving it a lot of thought – or knowing News 9 already reported the total price tag was over $1 million – I fired off this sarcastic tweet asking for more info before heading to bed.

I don’t know if it was the sarcastic quotes I put around “free” – or if trying to find out why we’re backing up the Brinks truck for a “hometown” rock act that peaked ten years ago is bad form – but you would have thought I complained about Emily Sutton giving a weather forecast in Spanish.

When I woke up the following morning, opinionated trolls from all across the OKC Twitter spectrum responded with a barrage of snide comments, memes, jeers and insults. For some reason, I guess they interpreted my tweet that simply asked for more information about the cost of a sunshiny, feel-good concert that came with a comically absurd price tag as insinuation that people shouldn’t be paid…

Here’s a sampling:

Those are five of the about 100 or so negative replies to the tweet.  Even journalists who are supposed to be asking these types of questions chimed-in with snide remarks:

Other people took a more indirect and bashful sub-tweet approach.

That’s weird. I thought Ferris only quoted Morrissey B-sides?! It’s good to see he’s expanding his scope.

I’m not going to lie – the knee jerk backlash to the tweet felt pretty good. Sure, getting ratioed by people who specialize in missing the point can be annoying, but we’re a media outlet that thrives on attention, controversy and angry reactions from a wide variety of echo chambers. If people want to make our job as an antagonist easier by amplifying – either positively or negatively – a three-second thought I had while watching Rick and Morty before bedtime, go for it. Not to brag, but we’re the original OKC Twitter troll! We’ve been eating billygoats on that thing since people tweeted by sending text messages! I can handle whatever you dish out, or, better yet, just mute you.

Naturally, as one who likes to embrace and milk a local social media controversy for all its worth, I decided to double-down on things:

Just to clarify, I’ve now heard the cost is creeping closer to $1.5-million. I guess the band is going to have to perform on a big, fancy, temporary outdoor stage, because the one at our new state-of-the-art park is too small to handle Kings of Leon. At least that’s what I heard, but WHO CARES…DO YOU THINK MUSICIANS SHOULD NOT BE PAID?!?! DO YOU EXPECT PEOPLE TO WORK FOR FREE??!! HERE’S A MEME FROM THE OFFICE I FOUND OF SOMEONE ROLLING THEIR EYES! I’M POPULAR ON REDDIT!!!

Although most of the complaints were foolish misinterpretations that missed the point, some people seemed to really care about why we cared.

We sent two tweets about it. I think the better question would be…

This guy did have a fair question…

Kurt has a point. Who gives a fuck? Our city got the Chickasaw’s to overpay top dollar to have a rock band with loose ties to Oklahoma come play a free concert – so what? Who cares the free concert has a bigger budget than the last four Norman Music Festivals combined, or what perks and benefits the benefactors get out of the deal; it doesn’t cost us a thing, and as an added bonus, rich folks will get to schmooze with the band at the OU game the next day. We should just be happy and grateful to have a mega-popular band from Obama’s first year in office show up for a quick and easy paycheck. Goodnight.

Sadly, we’re not good at putting our head in the sand like that. Trust me, I wish we were, because then we’d be way more profitable and successful, but just like how our city needs sellouts like Mayor Holt to stand on a stage and hold a Kings of Leon bass drum high over his head while wearing a gooberish grin on his face, we need people like us to look around and sarcastically say “You do realize we’re paying over $1-million dollars for a Kings of Leon show, right? That’s only worth it if it also comes with a time machine to 2009!”

Seriously, we had that much cash to throw around for a big park grand opening and we got Kings of Leon? As I mentioned in the past, I have no problem with the band. Hell, I’ll probably go to the damn show! But considering the park will also be used as a restroom by our city’s homeless community, that just seems a bit… lavish?

By Friday afternoon, as the collective Twitter consciousness shifted to women’s soccer, the controversy evaporated like a wire transfer to the Kings of Leon business checking account. This tweet kind of summed up the whole experience:

Actually, there’s a fourth group of people in OKC – those who didn’t even know there was a Kings of Leon concert controversy because they’re wise enough to stay off Twitter. If only we were all that smart.

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49 Responses

  1. The OKC circle jerk of local writers and PR people on “OKC Twitter” get off on patting themselves on the back. Just a bunch of virtue signaling hypocrites.

  2. OU, with all their great accomplishments in gymnastics, should create a new category for mental gymnastics and give Patrick a full-ride scholarship.

    1. Mental gymnastics? More like mental spastics.

  3. Kings of Leon?

  4. Shoulda gone with Hoobastank…

  5. All I know is that if your sex is on fire, you probably need to see a doctor instead of writing a song about it.

  6. I really can’t believe OKC is paying over a million for that band.

  7. re: ‘Just to clarify, I’ve now heard the cost is creeping closer to $1.5-million…At least that’s what I heard…’

    meanwhile, lackmeyer points out eminem has an ASL interpreter during concerts — people have requested ASL at the KoL concert (see tweet below) — the city of oklahoma city still knowingly refuses to caption their government access channel on cox [city view channel 20], including all programming/council meetings, a clear violation of title ii Americans with Disabilities Act.


    oklahoma city, an #audist community; #audism

    cornett, 14 years as mayor — hours of #equalaccess programming, including city council meetings, on city’s cox city view government access tv channel = ZERO

    holt, 447 days as mayor — hours of #equalaccess programming, including city council meetings, on city’s cox city view government access tv channel = ZERO


  8. Your last paragraph said it all. Twitter is trashy. I mean they let Donald Trump hang out there and spew his garbage.

  9. Well, while the money is flowing, perhaps we can finish the neon scissortail. Add a dragonfly or a few cicadas

    1. This year a giant mosquito!

  10. We could have had Hanson and Vampire Weekend for that much money. They still cute.

    1. One of the Hanson’s spoke at TU’s commencement a couple years ago. Have no idea what he was paid, or if he received an honorary degree, or what. What was mystifying to me was wtf does one of the Hanson’s have to do with higher education? His speech was as expected.

  11. We probably could have gotten Kanye West for the same price. He’s relevant, bigger than KoL, his mother is buried here and he still has family here. That’s more connection than KoL have.

  12. Whether OKC or corporations are paying for this event, in the end it’s not “Free” to the public.

  13. I presume you are including the cost of the local crew, roadies, and band in your estimate? The setup and take down for that show would be expensive. You know that, right?

  14. So, people pointing out the obvious in regards to your tweet makes them a circle-jerk? You should read this article and pretend you didnt write it, if you have any sense of objectivity you’ll surely see how stupid this is. Here’s a Kleenex….

  15. Why would the country of “Leon” have more than one King and why would they want to come to OKC?

  16. The OKC PR machine certainly wanted the public to believe KOL was performing for free. Timing the concert announcement just a few days after they publicized the Kings of Leon street re-naming strongly implied that the group was performing for free (or at least at cost). “Oh, they named a street for them, that’s why they’re doing the show!” I’m glad TLO raised this issue. And I’m glad TLO is calling out the establishment’s lap dogs. Keep up the good work.

  17. The funnier story to me is you don’t have someone to give you a ride and had to use ghetto car services. That’s like a problem when youre 16. Surely some stoner out there cares enough about you to let you hitch.

  18. Could have got The Nixon’s way cheaper.

    1. Or The Flaming Lips…Wayne has deserved a lot of the jokes from this site over the years, but the guy does love OKC.

      1. Or The Flaming Lips with special guest Jabee. I would pay to see that.

  19. For that amount of money, we could’ve got several name bands to play through out the celebration, with top hits, js

  20. Enid natives like me are just thrilled it’s not yet another country act brought in to get twangy with it.

  21. That does seem like a lot of money for KoL, wonder how many times they will have to say Love’s Travel Center..? Speaking of sex on fire, I wonder if the show will include a dance troup of lot lizards? Personally, I would have rather seen money like that spent on other things like local bands but when you have a new mayor that actually thinks he needs to compete with Tulsa, you pay a at best $750k band $1.5million and that’ll show ’em.

  22. Someone once said “A fool and his money are soon parted”. In this case the fool is the people who pay the taxes AND the fool stupid enough to book said expensive band few have heard of.

    I still think a Mariachi band (or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6) would have been the way to go. Free beer with Mariachi bands – great draw for the area and OKC!

    1. Few have heard of?

      1. Damn straight – you can tell very few have heard of them or it wouldn’t be free! That’s a big come on necessary to get people to come out and celebrate.

        A no name Mariachi Band and free beer – – now that would draw a crowd.

  23. Of course a band will get paid to do a concert, that is how it works. The real question is who is paying, and how much.
    When they announced the Love’s $2 Million “gift” they used the analogy that the venue was like a car, and then used marketing speak saying that it was paid for “in pennies by the public” referring to the MAPS sales tax. They said the $2 Million was for the gas for the car.

    So my question is who exactly is writing the check to pay the band? Is it the city? Patrick should do a Freedom of Information request to find this out, and if the city is run like Mary Fallin runs the state we will know in maybe two years, or possibly when we get a new mayor if our current mayor borrows the Fallin playbook when the public wants to know how their money is spent.

    Again, no problem with the band being paid, that is their job. I do think the people who are paying the taxes should know how that money is spent. Also who decides the entertainers? I’m sure the performers determine the price and then the city then decides if they can afford it. I’m not going to debate if it was $1 Million well spent, everyone has an opinion and not everyone is going to like every event.

    If you had a budget of $1 Million you could have quite a few smaller events with local talent. It could also raise the bar for local talent with money like that. If this were the 70s Bob Hope would have been here, possibly some trained animals performing gymnastics or participating in some sort of sporting event. A few Miss Americas would be here, perhaps to perform the song “Oklahoma” at the end to get everyone on their feet at the end of the show for the flyover and the fireworks extravaganza. Yes sir Lee Allen Smith knew how to put on a show to make you proud.

    But this does make you question how well the city, or whatever committee decides these events is spending taxpayer money. It is easy to spend other people’s money, and also quite fun, as you might get to hang with the KOL backstage before you give them the check.

    So how about a little transparency, who are the people who approved the expenditure, and was there any at large public involvement? Was it similar to the way the name Scissortail Park was decided?

    Mr. Mayor?

    1. Piss On Me Park……….to go along with Love’s bathroom floors.

  24. I used to work as a stage hand and got into helping get live shows in small local clubs in the 80s, think Fritzis, Diamanond Ball Room, etc.. Forbes has a 2019 list of some of highest paid bands. The list shows Katy Perry as making a million a night during her 80 city tour, as is Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift at a mill+, 750k for Adele, they were among the highest paid per night. THe list showed Kings of Leon making about 500k+ per show, unless they have a fantastic agent who can spot a podunk mayor trying to impress his constituents and stuck him for a million. Good Job!

  25. I’m confused: Which one of those dudes is Leon?

  26. I just wish Patrick would learn how to properly use apostrophes.

    1. Apostrophe’s matter.

    2. Maybe a TLO Grammar Night is in order?

  27. I agree that KOL should be paid, but not overpaid. Also would like to know where the money is coming from.

  28. “Not to brag, but we’re the original OKC Twitter troll! We’ve been eating billygoats on that thing since people tweeted by sending text messages! I can handle whatever you dish out, or, better yet, just mute you.”

    seems like a very lengthy post to try to convince people that you don’t care what they think.

  29. Patrick, your article is just a long, pointless rant. You pointed out numerous times that KOL was in their prime about 10 years ago…well the same can be said for TLO. You’re turning into an grumpy, old man…kinda like Traber and Eschbach.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting on my long pointless rant! It feels good to know that someone so pointless resonated so strongly.

  30. Good on you, Patrick, and Channel 9. A journalist – you know who- who blows off a story about how our taxes are spent should be ashamed. He and others should be researching a story about whether KOL is ripping us off compared to more popular bands and even the Lips. Journalists’ jobs aren’t about chumming up with accountable public servants.

  31. Wait! Is your dad Patrick Riley? I knew him way back in the groovin’ 70s!

  32. No taxes are being used to pay for the band’s performance. The band and concert costs are being paid by corporate sponsors. Reading is a fundamental first step toward comprehension. Journalists can not force people to take the time and effort to be properly informed.

    1. But what’s there to be outraged about then?

    2. And those corporate sponsors are not passing the costs on to consumers?

  33. I tell you, give me 1.5 million dollars OKC and I will give you the biggest, best-entertained party the city has ever seen. I’m used to doing this with 250k each summer so with one million – I and my colleagues could go event planning crazy. We’d have at least 4 local bands, an orchestra for the fireworks part, tents for weather, +free food, carnival games, free challenge events, free sno cones, segway rides, a petting zoo, glow sticks, foam and balloon rave, and several self-contained beer gardens + damn good fireworks (as in most of Oklahoma tradition – is put on by the local Fire Department not some fancy-ass contractor.) AND we could probably find a family of someone more famous than Kings of Leon to ask their famous child/sister/brother/father to come back to perform as a charity deal (meaning all proceeds would go to a charity of their choice.) You are telling me no one knows Toby Keith or Billy Ray Cyrus or that daughter of his?

  34. I have a couple ten questions.

    Are KOL currently touring North America?
    Did they have a show scheduled for Oklahoma City?
    What are they contracting to be paid for their stops on this tour?
    Were they asked to change a Chesapeake Energy Arena show to Scissortail Park?
    Is there additional cost to stage an arena show at Scissortail VS the Peake?
    Was this ever described as a “Benefit Show”?
    Is a “Free to the Public” show funded the same way a “Private Party” or “Corporate Event” is?
    Do filthy rich Okies want to provide an unforgettable opening to Scissortail Park?
    Did Garth Brooks ever do anything for free?

  35. Thank you Patrick for bringing this wasteful spending to the attention of The Lost Ogles, a gathering place for tax and spend democrats (not to be confused with tax and spend or do nothing republicans).

    You are the spittin’ image of none other than Dr. Tom Coburn. Keep up the good work!

  36. The better option is to skip the KOL and Tech games and save your money for Dallas, Yung Bae is closing out the sights and sounds of Deep Ellen on Saturday night 2 weeks after the Shittertail Scissor Show

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