Words by Audra Tracy | Photo by Joe Papeo
It’s been a long time comin’. After a decade of spreading musical pheromones worldwide, The Kills celebrated their 10th anniversary with a sold-out performance at New York’s Terminal 5. Jamie Hince (guitar/vox) and Alison Mosshart (vox/guitar) may have headlined the venue twice last year, but being the final gig of the band’s Blood Pressures tour, this was the show to top the rest.
At the door, fans were handed a copy of Issue Zero, a comic book of original drawings from Mosshart’s personal collection. Inside was a note from VV herself, thanking listeners for ‘coming to paradise with us’. A few steps past the merch table sat photo booths on each end of the bar, emblazoned with the band’s ‘crest’. A ribbon beneath proclaimed ‘Long Live Hotel and VV’.
Massive MTV Hive cameras obstructed views of the stage from all angles, further reminding the audience that ten years is a big goddamned deal around here!
Opening band JEFF the Brotherhood marked their biggest indoor show to date by ripping through tracks off their latest LP We Are the Champions. Her hair dyed Day-Glo pink, Mosshart snagged the spotlight, surprising the crowd with an early entrance as she joined the Nashville duo on their set-closing blues odyssey ‘Whatever I Want’.
Like their past two shows at T5, The Kills opened up with ‘No Wow’, but the comparisons start and end there. VV and Hotel (Hince) have forged on quite successfully without a drummer since 2002 – but if you couldn’t already tell, tonight was different. This time around they had four more musicians to add to that old trusty drum machine. Dressed in leather jackets and red bandanas, two percussionists stood on each side of the stage, pummeling in unison to the high voltage rock n roll heartbeat.
Live standards like ‘Kissy Kissy’ and ‘U.R.A. Fever’ filled the first half of the set before the deep cuts began to emerge. Just a pair of blue spotlights illuminated Hince and Mosshart as they slowed things down with the set’s only cover – a sexy, stripped down rendition of Patsy Cline’s ‘Crazy’. “Thank you…it’s true”, Mosshart remarked before kicking into ‘At the Back of the Shell’, a rarely played tune off 2005’s No Wow.
The Kills have racked up a heavy discography over the years, and the live treatment of older material like ‘Tape Song’ and ‘Cheap & Cheerful’ gave fans a true lesson in How to Be a *%@! Rockstar. Jamie Hince seemed to play guitar with his whole body, jerking around with the riffs as if the distortion from his ax was sending shock-waves through his nervous system. Thrashing wildly about the stage, Mosshart’s moves are so seductive that even the straightest of females are ready to hop the fence.
A five-song encore commemorated the duo’s big night – starting slow with their latest single ‘The Last Goodbye’ before scores of middle fingers filled the air for ‘Fuck the People’. Hince sneaked in his signature move – using a mic stand for a guitar slide – to end the night on a fuzzy ‘Monkey 23’.
“I hope we see you for the next 10”, Mosshart said to T5 as she swept her sweat-matted hair from her eyes. Us too, girl.
TheWaster.com | Fever