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A Duo Firing on All Cylinders

February 13th, 2012

The Kills – Terminal 5 – February 11, 2012


All other music duos take note: The Kills are doing it better than you are. Saturday night’s show at Terminal 5 showcased all the ways Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince know how to work a room. His guitar grumbled to life at the start of show-opener “No Wow” and the crowd swayed toward her as she sneaked the first line into the microphone: “You’re going to have to stand over my dead body/ Before you walk out of that door.”

The line perfectly foreshadowed the next two hours and warned the sold-out venue that Mosshart and Hince were about to give everything they had. As the song kicked into overdrive, four bandanna-masked drummers—seemingly appearing out of thin air—pounded away in darkness while spotlights at the back of the stage followed the duo’s movements. There wasn’t a wasted moment to be found over the rest of the set. Hince contorted and jerked his body with every wicked note he played, and the number of Mosshart hair whips would have humbled Willow Smith.

The two worked their magic separately on songs like “U.R.A. Fever,” but returned together for others, at times crossing microphone stands, staring each other down at center stage or even physically embracing—literally leaning on each other to get out every note. Everyone in the audience served more purely as spectators than at a lot of other shows, really only getting a part in the “oohs” of the ghoulish, bayou-tinged “Satellite.” Luckily for them, Hince more than once leaned out over the stage waving his guitar chest high like a fisherman reeling in his catch, shaking them awake from their awed daze. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.com