The Kills with Cold Cave and the Black Angels
May 14, 2011
Fox Theater, Pomona
The Kills are Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince and together they make sounds so fiery and raw they destroy all in their path. They've come a long way since they debuted more than a decade ago, and now, four albums in, the Kills are in their prime. Saturday night marked the end of the North American leg of their world tour in support of their latest, Blood Pressure.
Little Peggy Marsh's "I Will Follow Him" brought Cold Cave to the stage while the masses were still weaving through seemingly endless lines to get in. Singer Wesley Eisold channeled Robert Smith, heavily borrowing from the legendary frontman of the Cure, sometimes getting close enough to be disorienting. Though the theater was only a quarter full by the end of their half-hour long set, the applause was so loud you'd think the place was packed and that Cold Cave were the headliners.
Austin's Black Angels were ushered in with the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations," a light beginning to a dark set of 60s psych with roaring guitars, thick bass lines, and annihilating drums. Much closer in style and tone to the Kills, they were a million times better suited to open the show than Cold Cave.
Kicking off with "No Wow," the title track off their second record for London's Domino Records, the Kills were welcomed to Pomona with stadium-sized screams and cheers. Effortlessly cool with her black hair teased into a wild mess, Mosshart howled and strutted against a leopard print backdrop and Hince's stabbing guitar lines.
They played the biggest hits from their new record, but threw in classic Kills like "Kissy Kissy" and "Tape Song." Besides "No Wow," blistering "Tape Song" was the best of the night, delivering crushing reality with a warning that "time ain't gonna gonna cure you honey, time don't give a shit." Mid-set a fight broke out in the pit between two guys who had been pissing each other off all night which was kind of exciting for all of thirty seconds. The Kills didn't skip a beat--maybe they didn't notice, or maybe guys trying to beat the hell out of each other at their shows isn't that uncommon.
After a five minute break, the Kills returned for an encore, starting with "Last Goodbye," a song that made a bunch of people around me misty-eyed as Allison sang mournfully, "I can't survive on a half-hearted love that will never be whole." I can't say I'm much of a fan of the Kills' sad, weepy side--who goes to a Kills show to cry?--so thankfully they returned to ass kicking rock n roll with "Pots & Pans" and "Fried My Little Brains," an ecstatic finale to one most energetic shows I've seen this year.
Critic's Bias: I don't like Cold Cave. That half hour felt really long.
The Crowd: Very young. Didn't know that shaving the sides of your head while keeping the rest long was still in. Or dying your hair black but bleaching the underside.
Overheard: A really pathetic, mostly one-sided conversation about how old school dub is better than anything out right now between a girl who looked really bored and a guy who was trying pretty hard to get her to talk to him.
Random Notebook Dump: I wish I was sitting upstairs watching the show rather than in the pit with girls shrieking directly into my ears.
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Heart Is A Beating Drum
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Pots & Pans
Fried My Little Brains