For you, the dress code is casual.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Kills: The Day After

The only thing better than seeing a great band is seeing one with a great opening band before it.

Enter the Kills with trusty sidekicks The Sights.

The Sights are clearly everything Detroit rock brings to the table. They've got the grit'n'groove feel that bands like Detroit Cobras pull off so well-- vocal finesse, super-polished geetar, and a bitchin' cool application of organs. The band's totally, totally tight. There were moments of being able to pick out the influences like Creedence Clearwater, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones.

The Sights'll be back to town with the Donnas, soon, so that could be fun, but I'd love to see them as a headliner. I dig their energetic chaos they throw together on the stage. The lead guy and the organist/harpiscordist have this ongoing drinking game throughout their set where they swill back beer with abandon, simultaneously, and often.

Just good fun.

* * * * * *

The Kills... every bit as edgy, raw, and hot as they were last time. In short? Again, they've fought their way into probably the top ten concerts I've ever seen. That's two of their gigs now in my top ten.

They fed off the crowd, who I suspect were largely surprised at the ferocity of the gig, despite the Georgia Straight's article saying that was exactly what made it worth seeing. It was clear a lot first timers were in the crowd 'cos it was "the gig to see" this week, but had had no exposure to the band. My hearing loss enables me to read lips and it was amusing scanning the crowd from time to time, seeing strange faces mouthing,"This is fucking awesome." "Jesus! Look at him!" "How the fuck did we miss this till now?" "Oh, my... God." "Fucking A!"

They really ripped into their crowd-pleasing favourites--Black Rooster, No Wow, Love is a Deserter, Dead Road 7, Kissy Kissy (oooh...), Fuck the People (their encore), Superstition, and more. They played for about 55 minutes, but I found myself every bit as spent as I was the last time through, so we were fine with that.

Hotel, the guitar genius behind the Kills, was Lou Reed at his finest last night. One of my companions shouted "The guy's a fucking robot!" The way he wields his guitar like a weapon, man, I could totally imagine him plodding through a rice paddy with an AK-47 in 'Nam. He'd find a fixed person in the audience and he'd play to them for 20, 30 seconds at a time, just glaring, unblinking, as his body throbbed with the bassy chords he was ripping up. Just glaring, glaring...

It was so damned hot to watch. This time around, Hotel did more stage stealing, but VV was in on it, bowing out and giving him his credit when due. An incredibly respectful, tight, and gracious duo -- enshrouded in inuendo, angst, and sex. Excellent.

Alison Mosshart, VV, was just as frickin' hot and saucy as the last time, evoking Janis Joplin and PJ Harvey and Patti Smith every time she opened her mouth.

They ended in a whirl of sexual chaos during Love Is A Deserter, with Hotel pounding through his chords, his guitar inches from VV's crotch as she arched all the way to the floor, her face hanging towards the audience, and her drained of energy, bordering on feverished ecstasy as Hotel pounded out the last few riffs in the track, after which she collapsed to the floor and he dropped his spent arms, his body going limp. And then they stumbled out in exhaustion, having left it all onstage. When the Kills end a show, man, you know it's done.

And the good news? I now remove my expiration-date doomed prophecies on the Kills as heroin junkies. Our beloved tour gods have seemed to have kicked the evil drug--they've both gained 15-20 pounds and have colour in their faces. A beautiful thing. I love this band and have honestly never seen many performers with this kind of craftmanship, chemistry, and style...

Seeing them in concert is a sight to behold and I consider myself fortunate to have seen them twice in only five months. I don't, though, want to become one of those people with bragging rights on seeing a hot band just before one of the principles takes a midnight swim in the Mississippi to never be heard from again. I honestly thought the Kills looked like they were on the losing end of a hypodermic syringe. They look awesome this time around, and the prognosis looks good, my friends.

And oh, God, I'm spent today after too much drinking and too much dope, and get to do it again in eight hours. Bloc Party! Oh, lordy, lordy, lordy.