Two weeks ago and amid a touring break, indie rock band The Kooks surprised fans with the announcement of a concert at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Unsurprisingly, the show sold out.

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On Sunday night, the crowd at the venue pulsated anxiously, like 600 children at the airport waiting to collect their college-aged brothers and sisters. It had been too long.

Before their reunion, Bay Area band Guy Fox promised to “set the mood” and did so with funky tunes like “In the Wild,” “San Francisco,” and “Too Late.”

The Kooks began their performance with “See the World,” “Always Where I Need to Be,” and “Oh La.” Vocalist Luke Prichard charmed the audience with his British accent, making comments between each song. He spoke of how great it felt to be performing after “so long,” and his joy was evident in his vivacious performance that evening.

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The band switched from the upbeat opening tempo to their slower songs, including “Sway,” for the middle of the set, and Prichard’s promise of new material was finally fulfilled when they performed “West Side.” The upcoming track boasts a ‘70s feel.

The Kooks continued to mix in their new songs, available officially this Tuesday, with their old ones. The crowd was ecstatic about these new tracks, each of which appeared to have a unique element. “Is It Me” and “Junk of the Heart (Happy)” were performed using lighting similar to that in their videos, supplying each of them with context and stark contrasts of mood.

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Their performances of “She Moves in Her Own Way,” “Down To the Market,” and “See the Sun” had the audience bobbing wildly and singing along. The crowd danced, bobbed, and clapped along to the new tracks, too, despite not knowing the words.

The Kooks left the stage with a quick thank you, having apparently completed their performance without “Naive,” “Seaside,” or “Shine On.” But after the dissatisfied crowd cheered for an encore, The Kooks reappeared. They introduced yet another new single, thanked the audience a final time, and concluded with “Naive.”

Article by Divya Saraf

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