The Kills Are The Revival Of Badassery

A review of The Kills’ Oct. 27, 2014 show at the Neptune Theatre.

It’s safe to say that I’m intrigued from the moment The Kills walk out on stage at The Neptune on Oct. 27. They’re an unlikely duo to say the least. Jamie Hince, the guitarist, is a lanky, nervous-looking British guy who routinely rocks the neat patterned-scarf and tight-pants look. Alison Mosshart, on the other hand, is the American frontwoman who sports a head full of messy bleached-blonde hair, a plaid flannel shirt and a junkie demeanor of sorts. It’s clear when Mosshart picks up a guitar that she doesn’t really know how to play it, but that doesn’t seem to subtract from her badass points; the screaming audience is simply thrilled to see a legend in action.

The Kills are the masters of simplicity. Apart from a couple guys with sticks in the background creating some beats on a couple bass drums and a few guitar-pedal effects, it’s just the two of them in all their unapologetic glory. “No Wow,” one of their best-recognized songs, only contains a few chords, but the simple nature of the duo doesn’t detract from their badassery. Mosshart’s stage presence is unrivaled. She dances all over the stage and flips her platinum-blonde hair around like it’s going out of style. At one point during the show Hince gets down on his knees while playing his guitar at the end of a song. Mosshart kneels, facing him directly. She’s visibly out of breath while looking at him with an odd sort of motherly glow in her eyes. It was a moment that can’t possibly be recreated. These guys know stage presence and their chemistry is an integral part of that.

The crowd went wild when “DNA” came on, and they sang along to “Tape Song” (I challenge anyone reading this to try to figure out what she’s saying in the chorus), and something about Hince’s powerful guitar really stuck with me in “Monkey 23.” Part of The Kills’ appeal is their lack of cleanliness. Hince isn’t afraid to screw around with his riffs. They aren’t perfect or even always clean, but they’re raw. Mosshart’s live singing-voice is raspy, like she smoked a pack of cigarettes right before going on stage. But If there’s one thing anyone can agree on about The Kills, it’s that they are the most genuine band you’ll ever see. There’s nothing fake about them.

Now let’s talk about the negatives of the show: I’ll be the first to admit that the sound quality at The Neptune wasn’t great, but the band made due with what they had. Mosshart’s vocals were on point and Hince’s riffs were compelling and raw. I would’ve liked to hear them end with something other than the melancholy ballad “The Last Goodbye.” It left me feeling like we needed something more from them, like one last kickass song just to leave us with no what-ifs. This brings me to my next and most important negative of the show: They didn’t play “Fuck the People.” I was disappointed to say that I waited all night for them to play this, what is quite possibly the most badass song ever written (seriously, if you’ve never heard it go take a listen right now), and I may never fully get over it to be perfectly honest.

All in all The Kills still managed to blow my mind. I admittedly walked into this show vaguely knowing a couple of their most well-known tunes, but I left a diehard fan (and I may or may not have developed a slight crush on Alison Mosshart).

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