November 10, 2014 The Kooks invade The Paramount Huntington, NY 10-9-14
Brit rockers The Kooks have been together now for the better part of a decade. From their beginnings as students, the band members knew that they wanted to create something different than what that current scene had had to offer. Once part of the new British invasion with their debut album, 2006’s Inside in/Inside Out, they now reinventing themselves once again with their fourth studio record, Listen. Paving their way through North America, the Kooks brought the heat at The Paramount on Thursday October 9th. Bringing along Priory, a pair of powerful musicians from Boston, and Halsey, a soul driven woman from California, the crowd was ready to go for a night of independent Rock music.
Priory, from Portland, Oregon, are a pair of two previous roommates who put their all into making it in music. Doing everything possible to make their dreams into reality, they worked multiple jobs, and even sold their own blood plasma to make money. Guitarist and main vocalist Brandon Rush and rhythm and backup vocalist Kyle Sears released their self-titled album in 2011, and their first single, “Weekend,” immediately gained some buzz. Looking around The Paramount, it was evident there were just as many people present to see Priory as The Kooks. As Priory played songs such as “Lady of Late” and “Worthy Dreams,” Rush and Sears were taken aback to find that people were aware of their music. Rocking on with their hit “Weekend,” all of the audience joined in unison as they all sang along to the catchy, fun song. Mixing in four other songs from their album, including “Put ‘Em Up,” off of their newest Weekend EP, and “Alone,” from their 2011 album, Priory certainly were a great band to open the night.
Next up was Halsey, a solo act with backing band behind her. Releasing her latest Room 93 EP in late October, Halsey is a recent addition to Asteralwerks, a recording group parented by Universal Music. Halsey seems to have a whimsical charm about her and as a newcomer with a bright shot at stardom, she certainly knows what she wants and how she wants to represent herself. This EP is based on her life, filled with lyrics about spending time touring as a young struggling artist, living out of hotel rooms, and the relationships she formed with the people throughout her time at each hotel. Seemingly losing herself in the music, Halsey has created a mood which matches her ethereal, electronic and spacey music. Sprinkling in some covers such as MGMT’s “Kids,” her performance was captivating and Halsey is certainly an artist watch out for as she grows.
With fans from a variety of different age groups on hand at The Paramount, the excitement was riding high before The Kooks took the stage. When the time finally came for their arrival, girls up front began screaming as as they took the stage and opened with their song “Around Town.” Lead singer Luke Pritchard appeared equally excited as he came out, showing the making of a true showman with a Brighton, British flare. Performing a list of songs from their newest album, including singles “Forgive and Forget” and “Down,” the band seemed to revel in the excitement that they were causing. The audience also seemed to be enjoying the music as they bounced around like ’60s teenagers at their first Beetles show.
Playing on, The Kooks also mixed in some older hits, like the yearning, melancholy “Sway” off of 2008’s Konk, calming the mood of the room. Creating a brighter atmosphere with the title track from 2011’s “Junk of the Heart (Happy),” they followed with fan favorite, “Naive,” during their encore. The Kooks certainly proved themselves to be intriguing from start to finish at The Paramount. While North American visit maybe over the band continues rocking in the UK through the end of November with a list of tour dates.