It’s funny how a cool-sounding genre like ‘post-punk’, the fashion world and Jack White are linked by a two-piece band like The Kills as one of their members is married to a supermodel and the other shared vocals with White in his last supergroup The Dead Weather (along with bassist Jack Lawrence and singer Brendan Benson). Launching their first EP Black Rooster back in 2003 and with a fresh album called Blood Pressures launched last april, guitarist Jamie Hince and singer Alison Mosshart are back on the road to promote their fourth studio effort, with shows around Europe and Latin America.
Their last stop was last Wednesday night at the José Cuervo Salón in México City, their second time in the country with an almost full show, since Best Coast’s show that same night stole some of their audience.
Accompanied by their drum machine, Mosshart’s pink and black hair, and lacking any extra musicians on stage; The Kills display live just what they display in their albums: simplicity and passion is all they can offer. Starting the show with their 2006 single “No Wow”, Jamie Hince carries the weight of an entire band in his shoulders, playing guitar with minimalism and filled with effects as he controls the drum machine, taking control over the musical share of the job, while Mosshart fills the place with a voice that says, “I’m angry and looking for trouble”.
Each and every song from The Kills fits perfectly in any fight-inducing scene in a movie: it builds up with a simple drumming and out of the sudden a distorted guitar and a sexy sounding voice makes you want to punch someone in the face. But it’s not all anger incitation songs, as Hince and Mosshart begin to deliver guitar chords and vocal together through fan favorites like Kissy Kissy, DNA, Black Balloon and You Don’t Own The Road. Between songs, as Hince drinks along with the audience, Alison Mosshart praises their mexican fans and cools down before exploding and shaking all over the place as the next song starts.
As the concert goes on, you can’t help but get angry (in a good way) or begin to dance (Ian Curstis’ style) to The Kills’ tunes. The mix of emotions people get from them and the passion they put into their simple yet provocative set, makes you wonder if by adding more musicians or technique in their playing style, the excitement would grow larger in their performance. The Kills style is somewhere in between The National and a lowered down version of Joy Division with a touch of Blondie’s Debbie Harry.
Closing the first part of their set with Sour Cherry, Hince moves to the back of the stage and begins to play the piano intro for The Kills’ most intimate song, the heartbroken’s anthem The Last Goodbye, the jewel from their last album “Blood Pressures”. During this song, Mosshart sways in front of the microphone along with the audience, and walks across the stage, slowly and amazed by the sudden and only moment of peacefulness as Hince strokes chords with a hand and takes a drink with the other.
Putting an end to the night with a couple more songs and the final Fried My Little Brains, Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart shake hands and yell a last goodbye, at least until the next album by The Kills or The Dead Weather, to their Mexican audience in the early hours of September 15th, México’s Independence Day. To begin a celebration day about liberty and life with an emotive concert by a little-big band named The Kills seems quite appropriate.
Written by Jorge A. López Mendicuti