Reviews

The Kills + The Horrors @ The Commodore Ballroom – May 16th 2009

The Kills at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on May 16th 2009

Once upon a time in a city dreary, there was a venue with a show so dark. A night where the bands to play were both sad and vulnerable but at the same time spoke with their audience on a completely personal level.

To start the evening was a lineup of eager young concert enthusiasts. Some of which were there to see The Kills and some of which had shown up for The Horror. The lineup was abuzz with young faces waiting on what more than likely was among there baby steps into the concert world. The Commodore is a safe bet for an early career in concerting, and you see many virgin bands break their cherries here. This night was no different as I heard the conversations in the line mostly revolve around virgin excitement.

After getting into the venue, I went straight over to the merchandise booth to check on the poster situation. Any concert lifer will tell you this (limited edition s/n posters) is the first thing you check on. Some shows have a few hundred, and they sell out quite quickly. To my dismay, there were no posters and the selection of garments was made for the petite. I bought a couple small souvenirs and then planted my self at the fence right in front of the stage.

The wait was quick, as the obscure band, The Horror, took the stage. There look was something of dark pop punk rock, with the majority of the band in dark formal wear. They were mostly dressed like day walking vampires. All of them except the lead singer, who came to the stage like a lanky lost Ramone, with too many sleepless nights under his belt. The style of the band was to try to be as obscure as possible. To my point there was the bassist who for at least half the show, stared off into the distance, blankly and just played his instrument with no movement at all, very eerie. The lead singer was hopping around the stage and acting like he was spaced out on heroin, but his act to me seemed fake and forced, meaning he was just a scared little boy on stage. The young ones who were there to see this band were excited.

The entire sound of this band is deep and full of angry emotion but lined with a subtle vulnerability. Everything about the band is in support of there name. The lighting was all reds and greens, floating across the stage like the backdrop to some cliche horror flick. The look and feel of the band was very gloomy and an utterance of complete dispare, which vows well for there calling card. They are definitely a new wave, but dark band, so we will call them nuvo dark. They sing of the basics but have a sense of worldy fear, which is great for the time in life as this is what people are feeling. Everyone is scared and I am sure this speaks to them. After the spastic random movements and actions of the lead singer were done, they left the stage. One of the roadies handed me the set list, but I passed it on to a true fan, this is a rare occurrence as i am a rock n roll pack rat.

The wait to the main act seemed short, and I was truly excited to see The Kills take the stage so I could get an intimate look to there onstage personas. The stage had been cleared of all instruments and left only two mic stands, which was speaking directly to there minimalist style and approach. When this female and male duet took the stage, the crowd erupted. The lighting was gloomy, and lit the pair from behind, making for great silhouette shots. The pure realism of this couple of musicians was great, in an era where so much is forced and fake, they are a breath of fresh air.

The set list was pure magic, they played every song I wanted to hear, from Sour Cherry to Hook & Line. Passionate moments between the two were exchanged during the set, which were intense and like the sugar on top. From the deep gazes they exchanged to the intimate grasp of each others face, their was an delightful playfulness with a side of raw love. This made for a deeply emotional show. Every song they sang had a piece of each of their soul in it as music should.

This band is all about their fans, on two separate occasions Jamie Hince the guitarist took time from the set to yell at the security to stop roughing up the crowd. Which is great, because it balanced out the usually power hungry security guys from there usual trips. Alison sang a cover of Crazy, and it sent chills down my spine. Her heart was in that song, and the crowd drew to near silence to take it all in. I had no prior opinion on Alison as a sex symbol or had really thought about her in that light. But once she took the stage I was mesmerized by her intensity and soon I found myself nearly drooling over her. She is not a usual sex symbol type, but as an avid lover of music, her dedication and passion erupted in a beautiful harmony of her soul coming through to her skin and she became a tawdry goddess.

The show was not long enough, I mean they played for over an hour and half, but I could have watched them for like ten hours. The raw talent between them erupted perfectly on stage and gave this almost dazed crowd a great musical memory. This band is a must see, the opener left something to be wanted, as they were a genre specific and I found it hard to believe what they were there for. I am eagerly anticipating the release of the Dead Weather album, which is a meld of The Raconteurs and The Kills. I have tickets to both shows at the Commodore Ballroom, and now I am counting down the minutes to see this sexy, cool woman light up the stage again. All I have to say is get your derriere off the chair and buy a ticket to this show, it will be legendary. If this show was an indicator, the Dead Weather show will be one of the most memorable shows I will see this year, I am sure of it.

Happy Concerting

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