On August 4th, 2014, I had a chance to see The Kooks play Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. I haven’t listened to this band since they released their album Junk of the Heart in 2011, but figured it would be a good night to get out with some old friends, have a few beers, and watch live music. Little did I know I would end up watching one of the best shows I have ever attended.

Toronto’s own Nightbox were the openers. They had such a strong stage presence that they made the audience forget that another band was coming up after. Although only a few people in the audience knew the words to their songs, each spectator was captivated by their performance. They made the stage their hypnotizing platform with their dance-punk sounds and enchanting light show.

The Kooks came on next and opened with their hit “Junk of the Heart”. The entire floor burst into a collaborative sing-along dance party. Throughout the show, they played crowd favourites and known hits such as, “She Moves In Her Own Way,” “Ooh La,” “Do You Wanna?,” and my personal favourite, “Sway.” I was amazed at the talent projected from their performance.

When they played their new song “Around Town” for the audience, the crowd maintained their energy and excitement. My favourite part was when they played “See The Sun” because its stripped-down, acoustic beginning showcased lead singer Luke Pritchard’s incredible vocal range. They closed their set perfectly with their smash hit “Naïve” and I didn’t want the concert to end. The Kooks exceeded my expectations by miles. They are one of the few bands that live, sound better than their record, and are a pure example of raw musical talent.

Check out the song “Around Town”