The Kooks have come a long way since their last album Junk of The Heart.
With the release of their fourth album Listen, they have managed with the help of hip hop producer Inflo, to reinvent themselves. Showing us that they can grown and refuse to get stuck in the past and be labeled just another Brit pop band. Not only does this show in the music they have just released but also in the live performances they have been putting on.
Saturday October 4th, in downtown Minneapolis, The Kooks took to the stage of the historic First Avenue venue with See The World. At once the crowd erupted into a screaming frenzy, singing along with the song. This was quickly followed with Around Town from the new album and old favourite Ooh La.
All around me the crowd joined in singing the infectious songs.
Don’t let anyone tell you that Luke Pritchard does not know what he is doing. He knows exactly what he is doing, and he does it well. His talent, this night, lay in his hips. Dancing, driving a mostly female audience into fits when he put his guitar down to sing Bad Habit.
With each thrust of his hips, the fans screamed louder and he seemed to feed off of it, giving them more to scream about.
He commanded the stage and overheated the audience.
Finally giving us a chance to cool down a bit, he slowed it down with Seaside and Dreams. As always, when I see them in concert, Seaside is one of my favourite moments. There is nothing better than being surrounded by 1,500 people singing the same song as you are.
It is magical and happens no matter what city I have seen them in.
One of the highlights of the show came during encore, when Pritchard walks out along on the stage, a single spotlight shining on him as he plays the piano and sings the breakout song See Me Now. A song he wrote for his father.
It is the only moment in the show that the crowd is somewhat quiet and still. Pritchard lets his voice, not his movement be the showcase in this beautiful moment. He is soon joined by the rest of the band as they up the feel on the ending chorus before quickly jumping into old favourite Naive.
The Kooks’ energy was high and on point, never wavering, the whole band seemed to be on a new level as they played along with him.
It was my tenth time to see them this year and the last time I would see them before they left the states. It was a bit bittersweet. I felt like I had accomplished something along the way. Each show I attended, I took non-believers with me, people who could not understand my love for this band. Each time the show ended, they too were converted, either by the music or Luke’s hips. I am not sure which.