The Kills at Brooklyn Steel (photo by Kate Hoos)
Long running electro hard rock duo, The Kills, made their return to NYC this past weekend, playing some of their first shows since 2019. These dates—along with a trio of shows on the West Coast (including two headline dates and one opening for Jack White)—were in celebration of the recent deluxe re-issue of the 2005 album No Wow. The time away did nothing to slow the band down and they gave a powerhouse performance built off of the undeniable chemistry of vocalist Alison Mosshart and guitarist Jamie Hince, keeping their fans locked in rapt attention with a palpable excitement buzzing in the air. They played a robust 15 song set made up of many songs from No Wow along with fan favorites from other albums, including one of mine, “Doing It To Death,” and then returned for a four song encore to close out the night.
This was actually my first time seeing The Kills play live, as I admit I was a bit of a late comer to their music, and after that I somehow always missed their shows here. But I wasn’t a stranger to Alison Mosshart and her work, as I first became aware of it all the way back in the late 90s via her pop punk band during that time, Discount. I saw them play a DIY show in NJ in late 1999 (it may have been early 2000, my memory is a little hazy on the exact timing) so it is a unique thing to be able to see one performer that early in their career and then again 22 years later, and to witness the growth in that time. Mosshart commands the stage with her slinky, smooth voice and her fervid dance moves, playing perfectly off the sultry guitar riffs that Hince lays down.
I definitely took a moment to think back to that earlier show a few times between songs, and the more reserved front person I saw at that time, and just became enraptured with the joy in seeing the exceptional and engaging performer on stage before me now. I have also very much enjoyed her vocal delivery in The Kills far more than I did in her Discount days. And not that they were a bad band, they were not by any means. But The Kills are much more my speed than pop punk these days and I must say the sound/style absolutely suits her much better as well.
“Doing It To Death”
“Fried My Little Brains”
Brooklyn post punk band Bodega opened the show and they are always a fun time, getting themselves and the audience riled up for the party. Playing many of the songs from their latest release, the stellar Broken Equipment, they did indeed get the audience riled and ready. Drummer Tai Lee is a sight to see, putting 1000% into their performance each and every time and I found myself having to remember to watch the other band members and take photos of them too. They will return to Brooklyn to play a headlining gig at Brooklyn Made on 8/27.
This show was one of the highlights of the first half of 2022. Let’s just hope another 20 years (or even three years) doesn’t pass before I’m able to see this captivating duo play again.
Setlist: No Wow, U.R.A. Fever, Murdermile, Kissy Kissy, Impossible Tracks, Rodeo Town, Baby Says, Love Is a Deserter, Telephone Radio Germany, The Last Goodbye, Black Balloon, Hard Habit to Break, Doing It to Death, Pots and Pans, Monkey 23
Encore: Heart of a Dog, At the Back of the Shell, Future Starts Slow, Fried My Little Brains
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kate Hoos)