One thing that makes First Avenue such a cool venue is the variety of artists it attracts. Bands that could book larger venues and make more money routinely sell out the place. Promoting their upcoming album “Ash & Ice” The Kills’ tour stopped to perform a structural integrity test aka trying to blow the roof of First Ave.
Opening for them was L.A. Witch from, you guessed it, L.A. Made up of singer/guitarist Sade Sanchez, bassist Irita Pai, and drummer Ellie English the band describes their genre as reverb soaked punked out rock. The stage bathed in blue and purples the 3-piece set a fast pace that pulled the crowd in quickly. Their guitar riff at times seemed almost like surf rock and gave them a unique sound. Surfing Babes in Toyland, more melodic, less angry. Overall a very cool band and a great way to start the evening.
To me the Kills are one of those bands that sound good and fun in the studio but are absolutely mind-blowing live. The stage chemistry between Alison “VV” Mosshart and Jamie “Hotel” Hince is undeniable. Mosshart commands attention from her hair, the way she struts on stage (female Jagger was written on my notepad), her hands to the way she interacts with her fans. Opening with “No Wow” The Kills went full speed in a heartbeat. Lights (always important to a photographer) were fantastic. Not gimmicky, just really well lit. Mixing some songs from the upcoming “Ash & Ice” with older material they took the audience for a fast and furious ride. Fans were sweaty, jumping and grinning throughout the show.
Set List: No Wow / U.R.A. Fever / Heart Is a Beating Drum / Kissy Kissy / Hard Habit to Break / Heart of a Dog / Impossible Tracks / Black Balloon / Doing It to Death / Baby Says / Whirling Eye / Siberian Nights / Pots and Pans / Monkey 23 Encore: Tape Song / Bitter Fruit / Fried My Little Brains / Sour Cherry