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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Kooks : Live Review + Pics

The Kooks @ The Wiltern
Los Angeles, CA - 5.19.08

by Genie Sanchez
photos by …totallylikeduh!

Being a product of the 80’s, one might not suspect that I’ve ever witnessed any musical phenomenon. Yes, I am young but I’m experienced. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be able to say that I physically experienced 1960’s teenage girls crying their eyes out, anxious shrieks of excitement, and the occasional faint or short of breath amongst a sea of people as they anticipate a band getting ready to hit the stage. I’m too young for Beatle Mania. I simply wasn’t around yet. I’ll never be able to say that I physically experienced dropping acid in a mud pit while listening to Jimi Hendrix play the National Anthem at Woodstock. Again, I simply wasn’t around yet although part of me wishes I was. I’ll never be able to say that I physically snorted a line with a Heavy Metal band, and I’ll never be able to say that I physically experienced the overwhelmingly Disney-ness of a Hannah Montana concert…thank god I’m too old to ride that bus. Amidst all of these absent “you had to be there” moments in music history I was however, around in the 80’s and the 90’s when boy bands abound and homemade t-shirts of NKOTB adorned a portion of my closet. Those were good times, you had to be there! I thought the days of bands being held as idols, crushes and gods had gone far far away. There just hasn’t been anyone good for fans to put out the effort…at least that’s what I thought up until I experienced the Kooks play at the Wiltern to sold out crowd on a sold out tour.

the Kooks 5.19.08

Insane, right? No one sells out tours anymore, at least not a rock band. The Kooks played the second show of their sold out tour at the Wiltern in Los Angeles and to say the least…whole show surprised me. Now I am young but I know my rock history and hold my music knowledge very highly and close to my heart, this mentality of “rockliness is godliness” impresses me when others live and stand by it as well. The Kooks are a young band and just by looking at them I wouldn’t expect them to really know anything rock history or even want to grasp on to it. Quite frankly they look like their fans; young, naïve, youthful, innocent and above all else, purveyors in vintage clothing. So its not surprising when the cliché of this demographic might question the greats of rock n rolls past “why waste time brushing up on old smelly records?” These kids have no time for that, plug in the ipod and push play. Not surprising. This bias was in my head as I was trying to squeeze my way through the teen/twenty-something hipsters clad with hippy head bands, skin tight jeans and homemade “I heart kooks” t-shirts filled lobby as I made my way to the press area to await the Kooks set. “What are these kids doing here?” I questioned, But I threw all that out the window about 30 seconds before the Kooks hit the stage.

the Kooks 5.19.08

The bands entrance song was Link Wrays’ "Rumble." Not many teen hipsters concerned with their messy hair fitting under their head bands know of Link Wray, so I was surprised that not only the band liked this song but that once it came on over the house monitors the fans went crazy. The band quickly rolled into their set, mostly songs from their new album titled Konk and some from their older album. All were crowd favorites. At some points in the performance it sounded as if the crowd was singing louder than front man Luke Pritchard. The people in the pit created what looked like a sea of hands, each reaching out to try to touch the band, if only with their fingertips.

the Kooks 5.19.08

The band's rhythm section was strong all the way through as drummer Paul Gerrad kept a steady beat while not in the least being distracted by the mezzanine filled to capacity with jumping screaming fans threatening to tear the place down in excitement.

the Kooks 5.19.08

Guitarist Hugh Harris looked as if he was hiding behind his big black hat, staying out of the spotlight during solos but the crowd ate it all up just the same and begged for more each time. I’m proud to say that I physically experienced the Kooks in all their glory, I have a feeling this is only their beginning.

More on the Kooks => MySpace.com/theKooks

the Kooks 5.19.08

the Kooks 5.19.08

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