by Katie Zepf
Thursday, I had the pleasure of seeing The Kooks for a second time at Terminal 5. The English indie rock band, fronted by Luke Pritchard, are best known for their easygoing and carefree sound, with tracks such as “Naive” and “She Moves In Her Own Way”. Having six albums under their belt, the band’s sold-out show was in promotion of their most recent album, “Let’s Go Sunshine”, released last summer.
The Kooks had an energetic start to their set, playing “Always Where I Need to Be” from their second album, Konk. The band continued with more familiar selections from their older albums, Inside In/Inside Out and Listen. The colorful band’s energy was reflected in the lively audience, who danced and sang along to the upbeat 20-song set. Midway into the show, Pritchard climbed off the side of the stage into the crowd, singing along with excited fans. He slowed things down on the piano for an emotional tribute to his father in “See Me Now”, but picked things up with more cheery songs from their newest album Let’s Go Sunshine. For their encore, the band played their breezy new single “No Pressure”, and ending the night with their most popular song (and crowd favorite) “Naive”.
The night opened with Future Feats, a band based out of Los Angeles that I was previously unfamiliar with. They have a dynamic, indie pop sound, infused with some electronic beats. While given only 20 minutes for their set, the band certainly made the most of every second. The lead singer, Josh, had excellent stage presence and really interacted well with the crowd, leaning over the stage during his performance and taking a group photo of the packed venue. Playing a mix of new and unreleased tracks, they gave a great, fresh start to the night.
Following was one of my personal favorite artists, indie rock singer Barns Courtney. I had seen him open for The Wombats back in October of last year, and his performances have only been getting better. Backed by a tight band, Courtney played a selection of songs from his album The Attractions of Youth, as well as his hit single “99”. Much like in October, his flair was really exhibited in his performance. He stage dove into the excited audience in the middle of his set, and jumped around and sang with the crowd during his last song, “Fire”. Compared to his last show, I noticed that this audience was much more engaged and familiar with the artist, which definitely helped to amp up his performance.
Shortly before The Kooks hit the stage, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking quite a bit with Courtney in the press area, and he was just as lively and charismatic as he is on stage. He is off on a European tour later this month, but needless to say, I will be catching his next show here in New York.
Having just finished their U.S. tour, The Kooks embark on their European tour at the end of the month, which includes numerous headlining festival spots. Dates for their international spring tour can be found here.