Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Timothy Reidy
Albany’s Tulip Festival is typically the harbinger of spring, the first big volley into the vast array of outdoor music fests that populate the Nippertown concert calendar. But with temperatures in the mid-80s and the sun blazing down in Washington Park all afternoon for Day One of the fest, it felt more like a hot, mid-summer celebration.
And the Kooks delivered the goods with a bristling headlining set on the Parade Grounds’ main stage, drawing from a surprisingly wide variety of contemporary pop styles. Led by singer-guitarist Luke Pritchard, the British quartet (plus one guitarist-backing vocalist semi-hiding behind a stack of amplifiers), cracked open their 75-minute show with “Around Town,” the opening track of their latest album, “Listen.” They quickly won over the crowd – which was seemingly at least twice as large as it was for the two earlier bands – diving right into the call-and-response of “Bad Habit,” with the audience heartily shouting back at the band.