Am I the only sour cherry on the fruit stand, right?

I’d like to tell the story of the first time I saw The Kills play live. I was in my first year of University in Literature and I was this annoying young person who thought she knew everything about music because she would read every post on Pitchfork –yes, it was still kind of underground at the time- and liked to listen to her music on a record player. Nothing had me prepared for the kind of savage and raw musical performance I was about to witness. Playing live in front of me were two people using guitar riffs and sultry melodies to make love to each other in front of their audience.  The tension was so palpable that you could almost feel the sweat running down their faces. They were in full destruction mode.  Yes, Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart made it almost impossible for me, since that night, to deeply appreciate another live music show at that same level.

These days, I am still buying vinyls, but I know what to look out for when going to a The Kills show. This might explain why I was so excited last Tuesday to see them perform again during Pop Montreal. If they learned throughout the years how to pace the tension between the two of them, they still have that playfulness and anger to play each note of their songs like it was the last time they will ever play it.

 

 

Their decision to open the show with Heart of Dog was a smart one, since it is probably the easiest song to enjoy on their latest album Ash and Ice. It was quickly followed by many of their hits like U.R.A Fever and Kissy Kissy, delivered in a heated way. Their fifth album has been perceived by many as darker and more mature than the ones before. Instead of putting all their intensity into nervous blues sounds (Keep On Your Mean Side) mixed with electro beats (Midnight Boom), it seems like they switched their focus on painfully raw lyrics, like in the song That Love – It’s over now/That love you’re in/Is a fucking joke – that Mosshart beautifully performed acapella as an encore at the end of the show.

If their charismatic rocker nonchalance is part of their act, it couldn’t totally make up for the fact that I was having the impression of looking more at an act perfectly rehearsed than real musical magic happening between two people that need each other to create. And seriously Montreal, what was going on with you that night? I’ve never seen a crowd so blasé and visibly not enjoying itself. It’s ok, I danced enough for all of us.

 

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About The Author

Marie-Ève Venne
Lifestyle Director

Marie-Ève is a little person who still secretly wishes she was one of the Olsens twins. You can catch her running from event to event, a coffee bigger than her face in one hand and her cell phone glued to the other. At Dress To Kill, she is the one writing about the newest musician you need to discover and that trendy bar that makes the best damn cocktails in the city.

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