Alison Mosshart embodies rock music. Her appearance, her demeanor, her raspy voice, the shrug of her shoulders—all were built for the heavy guitar riffs and riotous beats typical of The Kills.
At a rare gig—one of a handful on a short tour—at Chicago’s Vic Theatre, Mosshart started the show with a less-than-glamorous entrance by pacing on stage with her head down, not unlike a prepubescent boy. Yet once the beat burst from partner Jamie Hince’s guitar, she was transformed. Within the first 30 seconds of “No Wow,” Mosshart solidified her rock goddess status.
The crowd looked like drones as they bobbed their heads along with the bass drum, but the movements coming from Mosshart were of their own mesmerizing kind. Her body twisted, bent, swayed and thrashed in the most natural of ways. The music poured from her limbs as if her movements were compulsory; this is how her body responds to all garage beats.
Mosshart threw on a guitar for “Heart Is A Beating Drum,” causing the crowd to react favorably to the popular track from 2011’s Blood Pressures, which is their last release (although rumors have been swirling that this mini-tour has been in preparation for new material). In fact, much of the set consisted of tracks from this album, including other crowd favorites “DNA” and “The Last Goodbye.”
While Mosshart proved to be the unpredictable crowd pleaser of the group, Hince kept a much-needed pace. Mosshart jumped from guitar to drums to keys, all while throwing her newly bleached-blonde hair about while Hince just chilled out on his guitar. In turn, they provided the perfect balance to one another, one that has surely been perfected over their 10+ years of collaboration.
The crowd was oddly calm during the evening, which was apt for singing sadly along to mourner “Black Balloon.” That was until the encore when The Kills, Solo cups in hand, inadvertently declared it was time to party, and thus ensued the crowd surfing. “Fried My Little Brains” brought the most hype as the second-to-last track of the set. And an hour-and-a-half in, and all hell broke loose as “Sour Cherry” wrapped up the evening. By then, every person within ear or eye shot had fallen in love with The Kills.
Cover photo by Shawn Brackbill; inset photo by Katlyn Keller