The Kills Captivate the Crowd at Revolution in Fort Lauderdale

The Kills
with Jeff the Brotherhood and Hunters
Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale
Saturday, January 28

Better than:
Seeing them in front of 15 people at Common Grounds in Gainesville circa early 2000-something.

To describe the Kills show in one word would be easy: intoxicating. However, I'm not sure my editor would approve of such a short review. Still, the undeniable sexual energy flowing within the four walls of Revolution on Saturday night was pumping through everyone's bodies.

Seeing the Kills live is more than just going to another concert; it's

as though you're a voyeur being invited into the duo's secret world. You can feel the unspoken connection,

both musically and emotionally, that Hince and Mosshart hold between each other. It's authentic. It's genuine. And not just a product of a brand the two are

trying to sell to the masses.

Opening the show was Brooklyn dance-punk band Hunters and Nashville rock two-piece Jeff the Brotherhood. Both groups equally brought something to

the table to hold fans over until the main event began. 

The Hunters, a quartet fronted

by Isabel Almeida -- who could be described as a hybrid mix of Alice

Glass and Maja

Ivarsson -- fueled the room's adrenaline with its chaotic sounds. 

Following the amped-up punk

band was Jeff the Brotherhood, who quite possibly may have jumped out of a time

machine from the '70s. The no-frills pair set up close to the front of the stage, and despite its lack of members, JTB filled the room with power. As frontman Jake commanded the crowd's energy, brother Jamin

relentlessly beat the drums, bopping his shaggy mop top, much like

Animal from the Muppet Show

Regardless of the band's somewhat hipsteresque appearance, the talented team of brothers proved they are everything but that. And it's the duo's raw garage-blues-meets-psychedelic-rock sound that made it so clear as to why they were brought on tour.  

As the lights went down, a leopard backdrop appeared, and the smoke

machine went on, the crowd's anticipation was at an all-time high.

(Probably because it was just around 11 p.m. by the time the Kills took

the stage). As Jamie Hince strutted out onstage in his tight British ensemble -- complete with polka-dot ascot -- the crowd erupted like a volcano into cheers and

screams. But it wasn't until the newly pink-haired Alison Mosshart appeared that the audience went completely out of its mind. Although the duo usually takes the stage alone, on this tour, they're being backed

by members

of the Back Rooster Drum Corps. Decked out in all black with red

bandannas -- the seemingly robotic team added an extra bit of musical panache to the band's set. 

Opening with "No Wow" was an interesting choice,

mostly because its intro sounds much like a ticking clock on the outside of a bomb waiting to explode. Or in this case, a room of hungry fans yearning to feed off the Kills' energy. As Jamie stood firmly planted in front of his mic stand, Mosshart paced back and forth like a nervous person after an unplanned murder. 

Although this track might not be the strongest pick from the duo's discography -- not like anyone in the crowd cared -- immediately following it with bangers like "Future Starts Slow" and "Heart Is a Beating Drum" certainly stimulated the frenzied room.

As the pair seamlessly moved through its set, they were more focused on

the music rather than speaking to the audience. But hey, nobody was

complaining. Together they have an overflowing amount of provocative stage presence and talent to make up for any lack of words said between songs. 

While Hince demonstrated his raw guitar skills, occasionally beating on the instrument with his fist, Mosshart jerked around onstage, making musical love to her paralyzed fans. It's almost as if Hince's guitar skills were the puppeteer strings to Mosshart's dance moves. 

Watching the short film Into the Unknown

prior to the concert gave a more interesting perspective into the duo's stage presence. As

mentioned in the documentary, the musicians discuss the nervous feelings of

anxiety before taking the stage on tour. Knowing this secret, it was like watching a highly choreographed production as the frontwoman went from shy -- often facing only her partner -- to

full-blown performer by the middle of the set.

After belting out a healthy portion of tracks from both Midnight Boom and Blood Pressures, the duo relocated

to the front of the stage, positioning themselves on top of the

monitors. The stage lights went dark, leaving only a spotlight resting on the bodies and faces of the pair.

"We're going to slow things down. Way down." said Hince. 

"This is for you, Mom and Dad," whispered a smiling

Mosshart into the microphone as she glanced over to where her parents

were sitting.

The duo wasn't lying. They slowed things completely

down with their own rendition of "Crazy," in which the frontwoman

belted out the lyrics, hitting all the right notes, proving she isn't

just all about screeches and throaty, raspy vocals. In addition to showing off her vocal talents, throughout the evening, Mosshart took on various instruments on an array of songs. Whether it was a guitar or keyboard and even the drums, there really isn't much that woman can't do. From there, the band left no album untouched. Performing favorites like "Black Balloon," "Sour Cherry," "Baby Says,"  and "Fuck the People" left Saturday night's audience quite satisfied.    


Critics Notebook:

Personal bias: I've been a fan of Alison Mosshart's since the Discount days.

The crowd: Twenty-somethings, fedora-wearing folks, pseudo-goth hipster girls, the Mosshart family.

Overheard: "If you're going to fight, fuck off. Just fuck off." Said by JTB vocalist Jake Orrall when a fight broke out during the band's set. 

Random detail: The leopard backdrop behind the Kills on stage was really tacky.

Random detail #2: Alison's parents stood next to me at the show, and they are absolutely adorable. 

Set list:
No Wow
Future Starts Slow
Heart Is a Beating Drum
Kissy Kissy
U R A Fever
Last Day of Magic
Baby Says
Nail in My Coffin
Black Balloon
Tape Song
Cheap and Cheerful
Pots & Pans

Last Goodbye
Sour Cherry
Fuck the People
Monkey 23

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Betsey Denberg