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The Kooks Sound Flawless at SummerStage in Central Park

June 25th, 2015

The Kooks – SummerStage – June 24, 2015

The Kooks – SummerStage – June 24, 2015
Shows at SummerStage always feel special thanks to the canopy of Central Park and its barely there view of Manhattan’s tallest buildings—but that feeling doubles or even triples when a band like the Kooks plays there. The view even seemed to humble the British pop rockers. “We’re going to play an old song now, we hope you remember it,” said lead singer Luke Pritchard before beginning “She Moves in Her Own Way.” The statement was as absurd as that song is ubiquitous: It’s hard to imagine anyone remotely aware of music not knowing that track, and if they don’t they were probably literally born yesterday.

The Kooks are no strangers to ubiquity. The rest of their set sounded like a compilation of the Top 50 Brit rock songs of the past decade, and in many ways it was. They weren’t shy about dishing out their hits early, either. “Moves” came 15 minutes in, and all the doo-doo-doos of their simplest and perhaps most ubiquitous track, “Always Where I Need to Be,” were sung in the first half hour. The Kooks didn’t sacrifice anything about what made them popular, either. Songs like “Bad Habit” and “Down” sounded right at home alongside the ones from their decade-old debut.

Everything about the Kooks is polished. The years of playing arena shows have implanted some seriously impressive muscle memory in them. Each band member moved confidently around the spacious confines of SummerStage, and the music they were playing sounded flawless. The foursome put on one of the loudest shows Central Park can allow, and at the end of the performance, I’m willing to bet the crowd would have done it all over again. —Sean O’Kane | @Sokane1

Photos courtesy of Mina K