The Kooks w/ Priory & Halsey – Concert Review

The Kooks w/ Priory & Halsey
Wonder Ballroom

IMG_0679Let me start off by saying… school sucks, guys. And then let me restart by saying, The Kooks rock!

Sunday night saw the long awaited return of the Brit band to Portland, playing quite the intimate set at the Wonder Ballroom. It’s joked, but quite truthfully, that it seems The Kooks go on tour to Portland about every 7 years. So, this opportunity came and was taken, selling out the ballroom in the end. People were in line a good 10 hours before the doors even opened, which in my opinion is the way to do things.

Once the massive crowd was packed inside, the show began with local Portland band, Priory. Though Priory’s been rocking around for quite some time, the band just recently got the recognition they deserve with their rising hit, “Weekend”. Priory played this song of course, as well as a whole selection of other tracks sure to be featured on their Sophomore release, dropping next year. And if you’re bummed you missed them, check back for news on December to Remember 2014, which, a little birdy told me, they’ll be playing.

The second opener of the night was one I was really excited for. I’d hate to say I was almost more excited for her than The Kooks, but it’s kinda true. Halsey has been on the rise for a while now, and was recently featured on our sister blog, Rad Foxes. With only a few songs out, and an EP on the way, she’s making it big at only 19 (well, 20 now. The show was the eve of her birthday!) With how far she’s come now, and the amazing talent she possesses, she’s sure to go very far in the future. Halsey powered through an incredible set, including “Ghost” and “Hurricane”, as well as some new songs and an insanely cool cover of The Killers. We’ll keep you updated on the EP for sure…

The crowd, now pumped from the two opening acts, began to become even more excited as The Kooks quickly approached. The band came on strong with “Eddie’s Gun”, a song off their first album, Inside In / Inside Out. The band has been rocking this sound for a good while, one to be put into categories with bands such as Arctic Monkeys or The Vaccines. However, with their new album, Listen, The Kooks take a trip into a new brand of sound that nobody saw coming: funk.

As well as going through the classic tracks, the band took us through some of their new songs. Though some fans weren’t thrilled with The Kooks’ new sound, I try to look at a band flipping style as a refresher. If you look at it as, not comparing it to old sound, but, a separate thing all in itself, The Kooks have pulled it off. Tracks like “Down” and “Bad Habit” show this perfectly. The band got down to these tracks, and were arguably, for me, some of the best of the show.

Of course, we can’t forget some of the winning classics, especially Luke’s tear-jerking acoustic rendition of “Seaside”. With a mix of old and new, The Kooks brought their all to the Wonder show. Anyone who was there would agree that, in another however-many-years, you must go.


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