Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The Kooks at the Wiltern
The line of fans snaked around the Wiltern going well past the Denny's as The Kooks and The Morning Benders traveled up the coast to play another sold out show. Both bands sounded great at the House of Blues San Diego and I had even higher expectations for this particular show as the Wiltern usually sounds great.
The Morning Benders
It is hard to believe that this was the tenth time I have seen The Morning Benders since I originally caught them at the Viper room in November of 2007. The Morning Benders continue to impress me every time I see them live. Chris Chu (Vocals/Guitars) had an aura of confidence surrounding him as he charged through "Loose Change". The Morning Benders played a similar set but I have to mention that "Patient Patient" may have surpassed "Damnit Anna" as my favorite Morning Benders song. The Los Angeles crowd reacted just as strongly as the night before in San Diego and I honesty wasn't surprised. I can't recommend their debut full length album Talking Through Tin Cans any higher as it will finish in my top 10 releases of 2008.
The Kooks have deftly avoided the sophomore slump with the release of new album Konk. "Mr. Maker", "Do You Wanna" and "Sway" are some of my particular favorite tracks on the album. I also recommend you pick up the bonus disc version that has an extra nine tracks. As much as I love catching shows in San Diego, The Kooks kicked into another gear for the Los Angeles crowd as the pit at the Wiltern was actively moving and dancing around. Luke Pritchard (Vocals/Guitars) fed off the energy from the crowd as he frantically paced the stage. The setlist for this show was similar to the House of Blues San Diego show but I wasn't complaining as it was a good mix of old and new material. The white screen behind the band changed colors throughout the evening to add a striking visual element to the auditory delights of the night. Dan Logan (Bass) has done an admirable job replacing Max Rafferty as if he has been playing with the band since its inception. "Shine" was the highlight of the night with a good majority of the crowd singing along. Luke's acoustic encore resonated with the crowd as he managed to make the Wiltern as comfy as the Troubadour with his demeanor. I hope you have tickets when they hit your town because the venues are only going to get larger.