The Kooks went on just minutes past their slated 9:45 set time, with the sold-out crowd’s energy barely containable. (Kudos to whoever had the forethought to spin classic pre-show tunes that ranged from the Beach Boys to Bowie, probably the band’s own playlist).

Tonight’s fans ranged from those who’d waited two years to see them and had trained it in from Long Island that day to those who’d paid $100 for a ticket, so clearly the mood was set for a show of shows.

The Kooks don’t let their fans down. Luke Pritchard, guitarist Hugh Harris and newest members, bassist Peter Denton and drummer Chris Prendergast, took the stage in a flash of fury amidst the waving arms (and hands gesturing heart shapes) of ecstatic admirers, wasting no time before kicking into a tightly-wound set that lasted just over an hour. They’re practiced in rousing the biggest festival crowds and did the same tonight in the much smaller space, leaving no stone unturned, in celebratory mode, with a generous balance of older hits and new songs from their upcoming third album, Junk of the Heart. Older singles, like the crowd heavies “She Moves in Her Own Way”, “Do You Wanna”, “Ooh La” and “Shine On”, were given a jaw-dropping, fresh jolt. The lanky, mop-topped Pritchard, who’s clearly been swayed in the school of Jagger’s glam self, shimmied around the stage in his red, v-neck blousy top and skinny jeans. When he wasn’t behind a guitar, his moves didn’t stop.

I hadn’t seen the Kooks in at least three years, and that time, it was at Terminal 5, quite a cold and characterless hangar as compared to the cozy ballroom. It was easy to see how far they’ve progressed since touring with Konk and it was a plus to be reintroduced to them in this venue. I sensed the nuances of their music full force, nodding to myself when I recognized certain Police, Stones, Bowie and Beatles-isms that have solidly worked their way into the core of the band’s sound and spirit. Though the influences may be there, they don’t outweigh the Kooks’ unique take on life as a classic four-piece rock band. Their store of well-crafted pop songs seems limitless, given the fact that their newest, like “Junk of the Heart”, “Is It Me”, and “How’d You Like That” sounded bigger than the surefire hits.

The Kooks ended the gig on a high note with their rocking rendition of “Stormy Weather”, complete with psychedelic interludes. Almost immediately, the fans set into a deafening chant of “Olé Olé Olé” and the band returned for not one, but three encores, led by Pritchard’s romantic solo version of “Seaside.” It’s no surprise that later, I overheard their manager call tonight’s show a boost of “anabolic steroids for their label.” It was even more than that for the fans.