The Kills No-Frills Rock & Roll Is The Definition Of Badassery [REVIEW+PHOTOS] REVIEW+PHOTOS: The Kill @ Fox Theater Pamona 9/2/16
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The impending rock show at the Fox Theater, Pomona wasn’t obvious at first. In contrast to the kind of buzz and rush The Kills would garner in Los Angeles, fans in Pomona trickled in slowly as the concert began. Openers Autolux managed to hold early-bird attention but overall, the crowd was mild as the trio pushed through their set – each song blending into the next. Without any talk between songs, Autolux relied on their tracks to make a complete connection with their audience. Drummer Carla Azar, whether sitting at the drums or standing on them, caught eyes with her bright white dress and general badassery. They closed their set with the every powerful “Blanket” from 2004’s “Future Perfect”’ that it made the rest of their set seem like a 40-minute prelude.
Once The Kills took the stage, the venue had filled in and blood pressures had risen. Touring in support of their June release, “Ash & Ice”, The Kills quickly ignited a spark in the Fox Theater. Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince, now with two other touring musicians in tow, opened their set with 2005’s “No Wow”. Mosshart seemed to hit the stage running in her starry blouse and leather pants. As they pushed into the popular “U.R.A Fever” from 2008’s “Midnight Boom”, Mosshart showed off her rock-star prowess with her signature hair-flippage. Her howls created a momentum that stuck through their entire set. Each time she put a leg up on a speaker, bent backwards, and whipped her wild blonde mane, women in the audience would turn to their dates and say “She’s such a badass.”
While Hince initially came across as the cool-toned understated other-half, he soon showed off his finger-breaking guitar chops and together, The Kills gave their fans a hearty selection of their indie-punk-blues with blistering riffs and sleazy synth. The lights would shift from blinding bright white to deep blues and reds, and while there was plenty of hazy breathing room between Mosshart and Hince, they occasionally came together reminding fans of the inherent chemistry behind their on-stage marriage. Hince pushed a mic stand against his guitar strings, his tense and textured tones ringing into all corners of the theater. Mosshart strutted around the stage sometimes screeching fervently, sometimes smiling kindly at the sea out outstretched arms and cellphones.
With five studio albums spanning over 13 years, The Kills had quite a discography to whittle down into a 90 minute set. Tracks from “Ash & Ice” were heavy on the list including new fan-fave “Doing It To Death”. They still managed to take from each of their records and closed the main set with “Monkey 23” from their 2003 debut. Mosshart returned for the encore alone with an acoustic guitar for “That Love” with its simple but impactful lyrics “It’s over now/That love you’re in/Is fucked up”. Though she is best-suited as a dramatic rock queen, Mosshart can still show off a no-frills sincerity that gave all her hair-whipping fans a moment of rest and reflection. Hince and the rest of the band returned for 3 more songs and the night closed with 2008’s “Sour Cherry” after which all four on stage came forward for a deserved sweaty bow.
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Michelle Shiers is a Los Angeles concert photographer and occasional writer. She has a soft spot for the very fertile English music scene and a true passion for capturing musicians in their element. She also acts as a fly-on-the-wall doing recording studio photography and some artist portraits. Her work has been published all over the web and in select printed publications including Drum!, Headliner, Bass Player, and more. The portfolio of her labor of love can be seen at MichelleShiersPhotography.com