The Kooks @ House of Blues 11.19.11

by Darien Lombardi (Undeclared), published November 23rd 2011

photos by Jenna Ross

The Kooks are one of those bands whose style and charisma harkens back to the best of the British invasion. Front man Luke Pritchard and company arrived on stage greeting a drunkenly dynamic crowd at The House of Blues and dug into their first song, “Is It Me?”  Pritchard’s voice was as beautifully cockney’d as it is in the recordings. One of the defining elements of watching The Kooks perform is the showmanship and stereotypical “rock & roll” nature they exude.   It was as if I was watching a young Mick Jagger on stage with a backing band that sounded like the love child of Coldplay and the Rolling Stones.

One of the drawbacks to their performance, and really a flaw to most of their sound, is that their songs generally follow a formula, and that formula grew repetitive.  The Kooks must have known this, because they soon introduced some songs off their new album. These had the addition of some synthesized arrangements, but it did little in changing what ultimately sounded like more of the same Kooks. Basically, if you want to hear a band sing about loving a troubled girl for 19 songs, then The Kooks are definitely the band for you.

Arriving late for midsection seating at the House of Blues is an experience fraught with frustration.  The mid-level is an open area where concertgoers must fight to claim key vantage points of the main stage along a rail.  There really is no polite or easy way to bully your way to the edge, so it proved hard to see much of anything on the stage.  My recommendation is to definitely get there a half an hour before if you buy mid-section tickets.

The Kooks put on a great show with high energy that proved how well they could reproduce their recorded sound live.  Their songs, however, began to grow repetitive as it was clear that they had a formula for producing singles.

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