The last time California was able to take in the magic of the Kooks was six months ago in a small nightclub packed with kids who knew every word to their debut album, sashaying their way through a short but dynamic set from the UK outfit.
Monday night, not much had changed sans for the fact many, many more were converted and therefore were standing shoulder-to-shoulder in Slim's. I had unfortunately missed opener Illinois due to a guest list confusion and being a good friend - exploding bladders that belong to a best friend come before a lot of things. I was sad to have missed "Alone Again." But I was rewarded for my good deed when it was time for the Kooks to begin and lead singer Luke stepped onto stage wearing one of the best shirts I have seen in a long time.
"Is he wearing a Star Trek uniform?" I texted to a friend elsewhere in the audience. "Blast off to Kooks mania," was his response. Oh man, this was going to be so good.
The four-piece opened with acoustic "Seaside," a calm ballad soothing for a beach shindig more than a sold out gig, a fairly bold move for a show that sold out ages ago. But with the launching of "Eddie's Gun," "Naive," and "Ooh La" afterwards, the group showed that they were capable of owning their singles just as much as the other tracks on their album, and for a band who has been on tour for a lot of the year and last for one record, the guys still seemed to enjoy their performance and the people in front of them. A thunderous applause followed many of their first songs alongside shouts of support and fan girl-like behavior, and it was neat to observe the growth and closeness that resulted on stage. New song "Monday" was also well received, and it is good to note that their crowd will be accepting of new material.
A big groan erupted when the Kooks left the stage, but with the encore including an acoustic "Jackie Big Tits" and fans pointing their fingers screaming the token title (yours truly included), it was the perfect way to give back.
By Jenn Hernandez