Last night me and Leah went down to the Loop and saw The Kooks. The night began with us going to Vintage Vinyl where both The Kooks and The Whigs (their opening act) were supposed to play a free in-store.
While Leah waited, with bated breath I might add, for the band's to show up (yeah, we were early)--I went and hunted up the Oasis album DIG OUT YOUR SOUL. It was sad how hard it was to find (not on the "new releases" shelf, nor was it on the sound-scan headphone rack, and it wasn't on the "Staff Recommends" area either). Eventually I located one of store's measly 4 copies (located in the Rock section, under "O"). I can't believe how dismissive people are of Oasis. Oh well, whatever.
Now I've been to many free in-stores...so I know how it goes. Nine times out of ten the band is a no-show (after all, they're not being paid to do it, and they usually occur right before the paying show--so ANY hiccup throws these things out the window). Which is why I wasn't surprised when they announced that The Kooks were coming, but were not playing after all.
We bailed and went down the street for ice cream (Leah had a "chunk-mail" buy-one-get-one free coupon because this month is her birthday) at Ben and Jerry's. Then we headed over to The Pageant to wait for the show to start.
There we ran into a friend/acquaintance of Leah's--from the technology department at UMSL. It was good seeing him again. Apparently he knows the owner of The Pageant and for a while we thought he was going to hook us up with backstage passes--but it didn't happen (though he did get to meet The Kooks. He said they had bad breath and said "Fookin" instead of "Fucking").
The Whigs opened and were great. They're a bit more "rock" and less "pop." I'd heard them only once before at Best Buy (over the loudspeaker). They were good because they had A LOT of energy. Then The Kooks came on--and they were awesome!
I liked their two albums (the first one INSIDE IN, INSIDE OUT more so than the second, most recent KONK) but man, I was not expecting them to be very good live. They were louder, harder, more "rock" live. They had a pretty good stage presence, but the lead singer is the star of that show. An annoying part of being a "girl" band--only the good looking crooner really gets to stand out. Oh, and Leah's friend totally called it, the bassist looks like a young George Michael. Seriously, he does.
Though the band had cancelled like three shows before ours because of illness, the band was on fire. They played most of songs on the two records, and everything I wanted to hear: "Ooh La," "She Moves in Her Own Way," "Jackie Big Tits," "Mr. Maker," "Shine On." I think my favorite song though was "Stormy Weather." Leah loves The Kooks, whereas I am only a casual fan--but she hates this song. Me? I love it because of the killer bass-groove. I couldn't tell you want that song is about, or how the lyrics go...but I hear that bass and I perk the fuck up. I can spot it a mile away. Damn good song. They played the hell outta that one.
Leah was very much in "1960's screaming girl mode." I'd never really seen her like that before, it was scary--seeing someone as tall as her lose her shit. She had the strength of a 100 Leahs (scary). But I'm glad she had a good time, though I do wish she'd be as enthusiastic at ALL of the concerts I take her to. Oh well. Maybe if AC/DC were cute boys from England she'd want to go with me.
It was a good concert. Leah said it was "the best concert I've been to all year." I wouldn't go that far, but if you ever get a chance to see them--do it. The Kooks are a solid band on record, but an amazing live act.