March 9, 2014

The Kooks kicked off their tour in San Francisco last night at Great American Music Hall to a sold out crowd of 600. In their first time on stage since August, it was clear that The Kooks were glad to be back. Led by frontman Luke Pritchard, they played a full set of 19 songs, including the encore.

The audience was just as happy to see The Kooks as they were to be back on stage. Every time Luke approached the edge of the stage, a sea of hands rose up to touch him. The crowd, consisting largely of teenage girls, swooned over his every move. “You guys are great. Why did we go away for so long?” he asked, responding to the audience’s cheers and numerous girls’ repeated shouts of “I love you” and “take off your shirt.” During the encore, two overexcited girls jumped on stage to dance with Luke, only to be escorted off by security.

With most of their songs being under three minutes, the band squeezed 19 songs into an hour set, making it feel much longer. The Kooks played a few old songs, but focused primarily on newer material. Luke joked, “I can’t even remember some of the old stuff... but you’ll probably know this one,” as he strummed the first chords of “She Moves in Her Own Way.” The crowd sang every note, much to his delight.

The new songs seemed to have a different influence than the older albums, at times drawing from R&B. While the audience may not have known all the words to them, that didn’t prevent them from dancing just as passionately as they did to the familiar songs. After all, not even the 6.9 earthquake that shook the floor as the set began could detract from a fantastic night with The Kooks.

Photos by Sam Engel / Senior Staff