The Kooks fills up Oakland’s Fox Theater to finish out their US tour

The Kooks were out in the streets of Oakland on Friday, March 22nd in honor of the 15th anniversary of their debut album, Inside In/Inside Out. The British pop rock band closed out their US tour with a bang at Oakland’s beautiful Fox Theater with fellow UK band The Vaccines, plus special guest Daisy the Great hailing from New York. 

I had never heard of either of the opening bands and had zero expectations.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised and excited after my first listen to Daisy the Great on my way to the show and, upon seeing them live, I can confirm that they are GREAT! Daisy the Great is a ton of fun: the chemistry between the band members is undeniable and the harmonies between the two singers are infectious. I dare you to listen to their song “Record Player” and try not to sing along or have it get stuck in your head; that song is a total ear-worm and I love it. In addition to “Record Player”, Daisy the Great played songs “Glitter”, “Dream Song” (unreleased), “Ballerina” (unreleased), “Dog” (unreleased), “Liar” and, finally, “Time Machine”. I can’t wait to see what Daisy the Great does next, hoping another release is coming sooner than later!

Next, before The Kooks took the stage it was time for The Vaccines. Having not looked them up prior I thought they would have a more grungy punk vibe to them, but, boy, was I wrong. The band from West London all looked amazing, dressed formally in white button-up shirts along with floral arrangements strapped to their mic stands for extra formality. In addition to looking smashing, The Vaccines sounded outstanding and looked like seasoned veterans onstage with killer stage presence — a show not only for the audience, but for themselves! They kind of reminded me of a British version of The Killers… which I say intending it as the upmost compliment. The Vaccines just recently released their sixth studio album titled Pick-Up Full of Carnations earlier this year and played many songs off the release.

My favorite song from the set was “Lunar Eclipse”. 

Finally, the moment many of us in the crowd had patiently waited years for had come — it was time to welcome The Kooks to the stage. Kicking off the nostalgic set, lead singer and guitarist Luke Pritchard started the show by himself with only electric guitar, prompting sing-alongs with an intimate rendition of “Seaside”. The set then continued to go in the order of the debut album, Inside In/Inside Out: “See the World”, “Sofa Song”, “Eddie’s Gun”, and “Ooh La”. They did not play, however, “You Don’t Love Me”, “I Want You”, “If Only”, “Time Awaits”, or “Do You Love Me Still?”. On the bright side, leaving these songs out allowed them to fit other songs in, including “Bad Habit”, “Westside”, “Forgive & Forget”, “Closer”, “Always Where I Need To Be”, “Junk of the Heart”, and “Do You Wanna” (the last of which featured a killer drum solo!!). All in all, I think it was the right call.

For the final encore of their final show of the US tour, the band went out with a bang playing their best-selling single, “Naïve”. The Kooks in Oakland were just as good — if not better — than when I saw them in 2015 and I hope they come back stateside soon! It was such an honor to get to hear some of these older songs, so I just want to save this last part here to thank The Kooks for doing this tour for their fans. We appreciate you! 

Photography by Katey Shoenberger

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