Monday, May 30, 2011

The Kills (Showbox at the Market) (May 9)

Photo by Mr. MAfter discovering The Kills in 2010, I listened to Midnight Boom (their third offering) over and over. When news hit their fourth CD Blood Pressures was due out, I learned Seattle was granted a date. It turned out to be a Monday-night all-ages show that would sell out.

Singer Alison Mosshart and guitarist Jamie Hince, collaborating since early 2000s, give The Kills their signature bluesy punk a choppy, fuzzy edge. Their chemistry is palpable, especially live. Mosshart whips and shakes her enormous mane of teased black hair while belting out tunes with her bold voice. Hince, surrounded by a sea of pedals, plays his guitar like a weapon, creating thick, dirty sounds. Their energy is contagious. The two often share the mic, singing so closely their lips practically touch. Hearing selections from Blood Pressures (Future Starts Slow, Heart is a Beating Drum and DNA) arranged among Midnight Boom favorites URA Fever, Tape Song and Sour Cherry (as well as songs from their first two CDs) made the crowd go mental. The leopard-print wall hanging behind the band and Mosshart’s matching shirt were nice touches. Hince threw us a bone when he said New York had nothing on Seattle. Sweet but untrue.

The Showbox crowd danced most of the night due to what the two opening bands started. Appropriately named The Entrance Band, a three-piece from Los Angeles showcased their upside-down-playing (a la Jimi Hendrix) guitarist. Their psychedelic jamming got the crowd moving for the second band, Cold Cave—an excellent synth pop band. Also a three-piece, these showmen took the crowd to actual dancing with their ‘80s-revival-meets-new-millennium sound. Using samples, they made it sound like a female singer was on stage singing with them. The three bands made up one of the best shows I’ve seen in months.

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