The Kills / The Horrors Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto ON May 7
Published May 08, 2009The Kills have had a rough few days. Front-man Jamie Hince's relationship with a certain supermodel has been dragged through the mud by the media, and then earlier this week in New York City there was an altercation on stage where Hince assaulted an overzealous fan. This all led to the male half of the band going AWOL in Montreal the night before the band rolled into Toronto. It's funny then, because as Hince and band member Alison Mosshart took the stage, the duo performed in their usual slinky manner.
Call it remarkable professionalism or just problem solved, but when it was business time, Hotel and VV got the job done. And it was a good thing, because the sold-out crowd of 1300 or so were desperate for some of that boom before midnight struck. So much that on a few occasions the duo were surprised by more stage invaders than Morrissey avoids on a good night.
Kicking off with the hypnotic "U.R.A. Fever," Hince and Mosshart wasted no time getting into the groove that has made them such a vital live act. Backed by their faithful drum machine, both members took the time to strut around the proportionately massive stage like feverish serpentines, influencing copycats in the audience who couldn't resist tasty morsels like "Tape Song" and "No Wow." There definitely were quite a few wows on hand.
Unfortunately, somehow the gangly goths in the Horrors weren't as blessed with their set. Maybe it was all of the delay and reverb their music now demands, but the Brits found themselves swallowed up inside of a massive echo chamber. It's a shame too, because it appeared they were living up to their end of the bargain.
Looking ever more like Joey Ramone, front-man Faris Badwan hovered over his mic stand and wandered back and forth thrashing away as the music gained intensity, while his band mates lingered expressionless. Performing only selections from their excellent new album Primary Colours, you got the sense that the Horrors are trying to leaving the past behind them.
Whether that includes the raucous behaviour along with their older material, who knows? But let's hope someone can figure out their sound issues before they return because it was a real bummer.