Before arriving at The Midland I have to admit I was a little weary about what I was about to see. Though I have thoroughly enjoyed The Kills’ entire catalog, I had yet to see a performance from the duo that was more than satisfying. For The Kills it turns out that the third time is the charm, but before I go any further there were two other bands on the bill that are definitely worth a mention. For this show was like a buffet of musical needs!
Hunters may be a difficult band to track down on the internet, but they are absolutely worth the effort. The fledgling group from New York City wasn’t jarred by the swelling Midland crowd; instead they took to the stage like they had been there many times before. Lead Singer Isabel Almeida convulsed violently to Derek Walson’s distorted guitar as the band burned through songs like “Noisy Bitch.” These erratic actions immediately captured the crowd’s attention, sending most into a frenzy of excitement.
To describe Hunters’ sound one would have to be able find the definition of teenage angst, something that most over the age of 20 may be out of touch with. Isabel once described the song “Deadbeat” as a method of communication between her and co-vocalist Derek even though the song’s lyrics mostly consist of a melody of ‘I want it, I need it’ the frustration is communicated clearly. If whaling guitars and in-your-face vocals sounds like a good night to you then Hunters is your band, I know they certainly are what I was looking for.
For those in the crowd looking for a sound that could take them away Jeff The Brotherhood was ready to help them on their way. Jake and Jamin Orral make up the Guitar/Drum duo that is Jeff the Brotherhood. If there is one band that can appease any rock appetite that band is Jeff the Brotherhood. Their sound spans from old school punk to psychedelic rock forming a noise that is better heard than described. Singer/Guitarist Jake Orral had no trouble taking advantage of the eager crowd, raping his guitar like it was a willing participant, he gave reason to the potent smoke that was filling the air.
While the band’s Facebook boasts that they have a “we’ll play anywhere” mentality they had no problem entertaining the near capacity crowd. Though the patrons were receiving a low cost buffet, the band was firing off like they should be playing across the street at a larger arena. If you haven’t heard the band’s 2011’s release “We Are The Champions” I highly suggest you do. You won’t be disappointed, as Jeff the Brotherhood provides a cure to any rock need.
After two delicious appetizers in Hunters and Jeff the Brotherhood it was time for a main course and from the looks of the robust stage set up The Kills were ready to bring something I had not seen before. My last experience with the duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince was a sparse one consisting of a striped down set and a sweaty Emo’s crowd. This time around the band had brought some ambiance in the tune of floor toms and a pair of robotic drummers. To say I was a little impressed would be an understatement.
I soon realized that it wasn’t even fair to say that I had seen them live before. When seeing the band at SXSW they seemed out of place and distant, this time around they were right at home and placing strings on the crowd for an entertaining game of puppetry. As soon as the band ripped into “Satellite” the frenzy was theirs and the wild-haired singer Alison Mosshart knew exactly what to do.
The musical seduction was on, all set to the tune of “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, all of a sudden the song had more angst than ever and one couldn’t help but to sing along. This temptation went on and on all night until the band exploded into “Fuck the People” and then eased the crowd to the doors. The Kills had won the night over and given Kansas City more than the show they were expecting. By the end of the evening the people had had their fill of ecstasy and could only hope that a bill such as this could come along to fill their eager appetites again, as their palate was now more refined .
By Ryan Davis
Photos By Matt Cook