From an interview Kings of Leon's Caleb Followill did with SPIN for their forthcoming Jan/Feb issue:
While the band might not have anticipated reaching such commercial heights -- their first three albums each moved a moderately successful 200,000 copies in the U.S., despite adoration by European audiences -- one major rock icon knew it was about to happen.
"Ed [Vedder of Pearl Jam] actually called it immediately," Followill says. "He was one of the first people to hear Only by the Night, and he said, 'You're about to ride a big wave.' I don't even think he liked the record. But he knew immediately that we were about to go through something big."
While it's likely that Vedder didn't/doesn't like the record, we love the fact that he insisted on using yet another surfing metaphor to communicate what he's feeling. Even after all these years.