A lot show reviews often note that the band of subject is so much better live than on the CD. That usually translates to "The CD isn't really that good, but don't judge them on that. Just see the live show and you'll like them."
In the case of Brighton, England's The Kooks, the band is SO MUCH BETTER LIVE. In a totally unbelievable way because both their albums are so insanely amazing, no one would ever imagine that they surpass even the recordings during the live show. They could have blasted a hole in the solar system or something because as soon as the members stepped on stage, it's like the world changed. Time could have stopped because the only thing that mattered was watching the songs fans have been playing over and over and over again come to life.
The tracks on The Kooks' debut, Inside In/Inside Out and its recently released follow-up, KONK, are catchy. They'll stick in your head as soon as you hear them. But when they're played on stage, they just POP.
Vocalist, Luke Pritchard, moves around the stage channeling Jim Morrison. His voice is just as clean live as it is recorded, so you know that there's not much correction during production. It's all pretty much organic with The Kooks and that's what's going to give them longevity.
The rise of The Kooks seems to have happened all very suddenly. One day the band is slowly leaking over to the USA through streaming BBC Radio stations, the next "She Moves in Her Own Way" is sweetening up modern rock radio and before anyone knew what was happening, the band has two sold-out shows in New York City. If things keep up-- and there's no doubt they will--- hysteria is not too far off. Right now, the "cool" crowd is all over these guys. But as soon as MTV and all the Pop radio stations start playing The Kooks, all the young screaming girls are going to start lining up before shows chanting their names. It might just be the next Beatlesque invasion. It's probably happening in the UK already, if any of the magazine covers and features in Men's Vogue have anything to do with it.
Unfortunately for the show's opening act, The Morning Benders, the same cannot be said. It's understandable the band was placed on this tour because its sound is so similiar to The Kooks. But this California-based act seems so new and nervous, it just didn't fly. These songs are actually better on the album then live.
To play Terminal 5, a band's really got to have a huge sound because the soundsystem is so bad. So that could also have something to do with The Morning Benders not totally winning over the crowd. Hopefully, the band members are taking notes from The Kooks and will end the snorefest that happens as they play. Towards the end of the set, things did pick up. The band told fans to dance, and so they did. But it was only during the single, "Waiting for a War."
Now for a few complaints:
What is up with....
* People actually talking on their cell phones during the show?
* The jerks who are waving their hands up in the air but TEXTING with one finger as they're screaming?
* The friggin' tall as hell man who decided it was a good idea to stand in front of short people?
* The security guard escorting me over to Will Call and holding my camera hostage until I picked up my photo pass?
* The venue pulling an Irving Plaza and not allowing flash photography? Grr...
* The hurricane/tornado that happened in Essex County, NJ while we were in the show and we had to come home to!?
** By Joelle, who along with her friend Theresa, ran into The Kooks new bass player Daniel and the band's guitar tech Adam, at a bar before the show. They chatted about Bon Jovi, explained what NJ guidos are like and learned about the UK's version- trackies.
PLANET VERGE PRESENTS A BONUS TRACK FROM THE KOOKS-- "Brooklyn"
You can get it off the CD that accompanies KONK, or listen to it RIGHT NOW at www.planetverge.com
MEET THE KOOKS- BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE FROM KOOKSTV
THE KOOK's new video, "Shine On," from KONK