On Wednesday night, The Kills destroyed the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, while giving all aspiring rock stars a whole new level of awesome to try to achieve.
Toronto based U.S. Girls began the evening. Vocalist, Meghan Remy’s high-pitched voice and distortion made the lyrics almost impossible to understand. Though the band more than made up for that with a powerful, yet formulaic synth goth pop rock sound reminiscent of the same genre that dominated a good part of the ‘90s. Overall the crowd enjoyed the set and the band had a tight performance with great passion. Before performing their final song, Remy admitted she used to dance to this tune in her room, and then sang a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”. The tempo was a bit faster and with Remy’s sweet voice and attitude it came off as more of a “Cindy Lauper does Springsteen” tribute song than a cover by an old fan. Regardless, this continues a trend that has been in the more underground scene for sometime, busting out a Springsteen cover.
To keep the night short and sweet there were no other opening bands, only the one band everyone was there to see, The Kills. Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince came out accompanied by two drummers who remained standing while banging on their two toms each. The background was a curtain of black and white leopard print that changed colour along with the moods of each song. The set began loud and raw with the popular and powerful track “The Future is Now”.
Moshart, no longer a dark and moody goth rock chick, has gone the way of the blondes and cheerful, a decision lot of brunette woman make at some point in their lives, and though she did look hot, she has lost some of her edge and mystique. Moshart played the part of an animal who is unable to be caged as she paced back and forth across the stage every so often before screaming into the mic, head banging her blonde mane and bending over backwards. While Hince, so cool and British stood with confidence and power while ripping apart the killer riffs that are equally vital to the sound as of the band as is Moshart’s dark and sultry voice. The set continued unstopped and untamed with “URA Fever”, “Kissy Kissy”, “Baby Says” and “Black Tape”. For the final song “Monkey 23”, Moshart took a seat on the stage while she, like the rest of the audience watched Himce extended through a God like guitar solo, of course while watching in wonder everyone tried not to drool. The duo returned for an encore that began with the sweet farewell-to-a-lover ballad “The Last Goodbye” and finished with “Sour Cherry”. At the very end, Moshart took a quick second to sign autographs on stage before taking a bow with the band and leaving the stage for good.
Overall, The Kills put on once hell of a commanding performance with love, grace, passion and full on rock n roll. It’s always reassuring to see something as simple as two guitars, and two people banging some toms make such an impact in the music world. The industry isn’t doomed with auto-tune, not while bands like The Kills are hitting the stage and proving you don’t need much, you just need to want it.