Celebrating their 10th anniversary, the Kooks shimmied into the 9:30 Club Sunday night with new material and a revitalized stage show that was eaten up by the sold-out crowd.
From the beginning, vocalist Luke Pritchard strutted and slid across the stage, very much looking like he could have sprung whole from the ‘60s music that inspired his lyrical Britpop.
Pritchard, guitarist Hugh Harris, drummer Alexis Nunez, and bassist Peter Denton have been opening their set with lead single “Down,” from a new album Listen, set to be released in the United States on Sept. 2. It’s a catchy pop song of jittery sophistication, and its words are a challenge to a woman seeking to bring our man “down down diggy de down down diggy diggy.”
Just because you’ve got a sad song doesn’t mean you can’t get diggy with it.
Dave Grohl at Firefly (Photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)
Yesterday’s list of summertime cover songs by bands playing at the ever-growing Firefly Music Festival was by no means exhaustive, as you’ll see below.
The second day of Firefly, Friday, June 20, started around 12:30pm and stretched until 2am. (And for morning people, unlike myself, Red Bull sponsored a breakfast series where you could awake even earlier and catch some up and coming bands.)
My day, however, began with neo-psychedelic band Basic Vacation, hailing from New York City. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Greatti, bassist Jon Paul and drummer Mike Montalbano formed a snappy trio, playing their established songs like “I Believe” as well as new songs like “Sirens.” They also played a damn catchy cover of Tears for Fear’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Greatti said at the time that the band would not play it again after Firefly, but c’mon, guys! That was a really good cover, and you really put your own spin on it.
It was during the performance of Basic Vacation on the lawn stage that I began to notice an odd phenomenon. Lots of kids were carrying large cut-out heads of random celebrities, like Nicolas Cage and David Bowie and Bryan Cranston. I have no idea why they carried them, but these large cut-out heads showed up on the viewscreen monitors surprisingly well when the cameras cut to the audience during any particular show. If anyone can explain to me how this got started, I would be very interested in knowing.
Wednesday morning update: Morrissey announced the cancellation of the entire tour on Tuesday evening.
“It is with great sadness that the remainder of the U.S. Tour has been cancelled. The respiratory infection Morrissey contracted in Miami has worsened, and in the interest of making a full recovery, all further touring plans have been halted. Morrissey thanks his fans for their compassion, understanding, and well-wishes during this difficult period as he recuperates,” according to a statement on his official Facebook page.
Get well soon, Morrissey!
As every Morrissey fan undoubtedly already has heard, the Man from Manchester has rescheduled tonight’s performance in Baltimore and tomorrow’s performance in DC for dates two weeks later.
In a statement late Monday, I.M.P. Productions, which is supporting both shows, said, “At the advice of Morrissey’s medical team, Baltimore at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall is now rescheduled for June 24 and The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, is rescheduled for June 25. All tickets previously purchased will be honored for the new dates.”
Late last year, Morrissey published his best-selling Autobiography. The book is full of witty recollections of various experiences in the life of the British crooner, and many of the details dwell on various grievances as the man strikes back against those who have crossed him at various points in his life.
But the book largely has a happy ending. He spends dozens of pages describing the euphoria of his performances in recent years, and how crowds have embraced him and his music from Sweden to Mexico. Morrissey wraps it all up in a cheery giddiness of sorts, reflecting his attitude that the only time he truly feels alive is when he is on the stage.
Fresh off publishing that book and recording a new album in France, Morrissey is set to return to the stage this year, coming to visit Baltimore, Md., at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Tuesday, June 10. Alas, the Mancunian turned Angeleno booked no date in the fair city of D.C., but I.M.P. Productions, owners of the 9:30 Club, are handling promotional duties for the show at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
Not much is known about Morrissey’s new album as of yet, but he just released a cover of “Satellite of Love” in honor of one of his heroes Lou Reed, who passed away last year. So perhaps we can expect to hear that, along with several select selections from the new album and his time in The Smiths as well as another dozen or more from across his career.
Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Feb. 21, at noon. A presale distributed by the 9:30 Club, however, starts today at 10am, so those in the know may buy a ticket earlier. Either way, portents suggest this will be a good year for Moz, so put on your thinking cap, dive into your love for old movies, and make a push and a rush to make those tickets yours!
w/ Kristeen Young
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Tuesday, June 10