PHOTOS: The Kooks kick off their U.S. tour at the Fox

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The Kooks, Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris

The Kooks perform at The Fox Theater in Oakland on Feb. 11, 2019. Photos: Joaquin Cabello

OAKLAND — The Kooks kicked off their new month-long U.S. tour at the Fox Theater Monday. It was the U.K. rockers’ first time back in the Bay Area since June 2018, when they played San Francisco to mark the release of their newest album, Let’s Go Sunshine.

The band started with some indelible classics from early albums like “Eddie’s Gun” and followed that up with “Always Where I Need to Be,” which had fans moshing and swaying to frontman Luke Pritchard’s wonderfully distinct vocals and relentlessly fast drums and guitars. These tracks set the tone early for the performance as a whole.

The Kooks, Luke Pritchard

The Kooks perform at The Fox Theater in Oakland on Feb. 11, 2019.

While the group interlaced newer cuts throughout, it didn’t seem interested in introducing too much new stuff out in Oakland. Fans didn’t seem to mind, cheering loudest for the battle-tested tracks. Pritchard introduced the fourth song of the set, early hit “She Moves,” and within seconds of the opening riffs chiming, the crowd went absolutely wild. Pritchard brought an intense charisma to the show.

In his short bursts of dialog to the audience, his words often centered around gratitude and simple questions: “How are you, no—really, how are you Oakland?” “Are you having a great day? Are you?” But for the most part, Pritchard wasted little time with banter and it was clear he wanted to play. There was a distinct mark of sincerity to Pritchard’s performance, both in terms of his musicianship and overall stage presence.

Barns Courtney

Barns Courtney performs at The Fox Theater in Oakland on Feb. 11, 2019.

Singer-songwriter Barns Courtney, preceded the headliners with a lively performance. His animated showmanship combined Mick-Jagger-like dance moved with fast-paced indie rock and symphonic alt-pop.

Future Feats opened the show with an energetic performance, but one marked by vocal chord trouble by the band’s frontman, which affected the performance.

 

— By Cole Waldron

Follow photographer Joaquin Cabello at Instagram.com/joaquinxcabello

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