By Anya Whitlock
Artist: The Kills
Date / Venue: Thursday July 28th, 2016 - The Powerstation, Auckland
The Kills are a rare marvel. The duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince are one of the few acts to last this long beyond the cooler than cool 'heroin chic' era of the late 90s early 00's, when everyone wanted to look like Kate Moss (Hince's ex wife) or Alison Mosshart. This gig in the nostalgic innards of the Powerstation was my first live experience of The Kills and my first impression was that they were surprisingly joyful. Alison was almost effervescent; extremely engaging and Jamie was clearly enjoying the crowd. It felt a bit like they were all smiles running their victory lap.
To set the visual scene, Alison and her wild candy floss coloured hair somehow appeared to be in multiple locations on stage at any given time. Jamie held the space to the left of the stage and it was amazing there was any left considering he had no less than eight guitars and a guitar tech. The drummer and synth/bassist were buried toward the back of the stage and it really seemed as though they were merely the hired help, which was a shame as they were both incredible musicians and the performance would have benefitted from more interaction with them.
The third song Kissy Kissy was a nice breather after the hard hitting, high energy intro and the first time Alison played her sticker laden guitar. Next up was crowd favourite Black Balloon which was a driving rock ballad and I began to appreciate the craftsmanship with which The Kills took their audience on an emotional journey. Through hard, reactive reckless worlds to soft, vulnerable reflective ones.
The most successful single off their new album Doing It To Death was very sultry and sexy with electronic rhythms undulating throughout. It was definitely a crowd-pleaser which is always testimony to a truly great band when people are singing along to the most recent work, rather than becoming animated only when songs from the first album or two are played.
My favourite Kills album to date is Blood Pressures and it was great to enjoy DNA as well as Baby Says from that album. The latter was a magical performance and many times throughout Jamie and Alison sang to each other, shared secret smiles and lit up the stage with a mutual understanding that no-one else could grasp.
This show made me remember how much I love good ol' dirty rock and roll and how enjoyable it is to watch magnetic people do what they do best. Siberian Nights was the highlight of the encore for me. It was a nice discovery from their latest album Ash & Ice. It would have been a treat to hear my favourite song The Heart Is A Beating Drum but it's understandable after 15 years and 5 albums that they can't please everyone all the time (not that they're trying).
After mind-blowing contemporary jazz legends Snarky Puppy finish their set at the Powerstation on April 6, the party continues on to Neck of the Woods where members of the Grammy winning band will set up and continue playing into the night
Displaying formidable mixing and scratching skills and mixing tunes old and new, DJ Shadow will bring his This Mountain Will Fall tour to New Zealand this May for one show only at Auckland’s Powerstation on Friday June 2nd.
As their Australasian shows gets closer, electro-punk extraordinaires Crystal Castles have announced that Australian trio Crooked Colours will be joining them as the opening act for all five shows on the tour.
By James Whitlock
Date / Venue: Thursday March 9th, 2017 - The Powerstation, Auckland
Lindsey Stirling, the American electric violin extraordinaire, dancer, performance artist and composer, will perform one New Zealand show only at Auckland’s Powerstation on April 19, 2017.
Meshuggah hits New Zealand shores next week for a one-off show, launching their Australasian tour in the thunderous style fans have become accustomed to.
Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark Kings Of The Wild Frontier album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour.
Making their way to Auckland this April, Milky Chance are set to play one show in the city's Powerstation on Wednesday 26th April off the back of an almost sold-out world tour prior to the release of their second full-length album, Blossom (out 17th March via Muggelig Records).
US-based, Kiwi-born hard rockers Like A Storm have been announced as the opening act for the legendary Alter Bridge, playing in Auckland this March.
Pop punk perfection… that’s All Time Low in a nutshell! They’ve repeatedly topped the charts, sold over 1.5 million albums worldwide, chalked up 100+ million views on YouTube, have 5+ million social media followers, and have sold out London’s Wembley Arena.