The Kills: Live in Pomona

Natasha Aftandilians/New University

In the heart of Downtown Pomona, in the midst of dusty antique shops and vintage stores, a couple walks down the street.  She in tight pants and a yellow and black Hawaiian shirt, he in black jeans and a bomber jacket, they stroll down the sidewalk, almost attached at the hip.  A thick fringe of tousled black hair obscures her eyes. The two enter a vintage clothing store, filled with racks of old military camouflage coats, floral muumuus and fedoras. She flicks through circular racks while he heads for a row of leather jackets, trying them on in the mirror, judging the fit on his frame.

“You getting anything?” he says.

“Yeah, I’m just gonna get this shirt,” she responds.

They exit the store as a flock of well-dressed teenagers enters, eliciting some turned heads, whispers of excitement and doubt, and double-takes.  The couple heads down the block, pleasantly enjoying the midday May sun, seemingly ignorant of the commotion they are about to cause.  The couple, Alison (“VV”) Mosshart and Jamie (“Hotel”) Hince is better known as rock duo The Kills, and they are here to shake things up at the Fox Theatre tonight.

Mosshart and Hince are a dynamic duo, whose musical relationship has resulted in four albums of genuine, straight-up rock music over the last 10 years. Their latest album, “Blood Pressures,” is no exception. Mosshart’s vocal range and Hince’s guitar have created their signature gritty, riff-driven sound, which combines the seductive stylings of Mosshart and the steady, driving force of Hince’s guitar.  This tour has been all about bringing that energy to their fans, and they brought it full-force on Saturday night.

On the second of two sold-out dates at the Fox Theatre, the Kills brought the house down with their low-down, dirty, and passionate rock. Supported by the electro-gothic, synth-driven trio Cold Cave and the psychadelia-inspired Black Angels, the duo made the last night of their U.S. tour into quite a show.

The pair (now clad in somewhat more “stage-appropriate” black attire) commands the stage with their presence and charisma, filling the empty voids of a drummer and bassist they don’t have. Mosshart and Hince are a sight to behold when they take the stage. Bouncing off each other like pinballs, they both feed into each other’s energy and liveliness.  Hince is stolid, his boots planted firmly on the stage, with the exception of the occasional bout of Little Richard-style fancy footwork. He is the physical embodiment of what every rock star should be; confident and cool, with swagger oozing out of every pore. His weathered face tells of cigarettes and whiskey, and late-nights spent with models in hotel rooms (this isn’t that far from the truth, seeing as how Hince is currently dating Kate Moss). He is the solid foundation for Mosshart’s freewheeling stage antics.

Mosshart is the bewitching vixen who is the driving force of the duo. Her voice is deep and dripping with strangely seductive power; tough and sweet all at once, she tears through each song like a women possessed. Hips swaying and hair tossing, she becomes the music, gripping the microphone with her porcelain-white hands and wailing till she is raw, tossing her head back as we all become stuck in her hypnotic spell. The pounding beat pulsates through your skull, as you become like Mosshart herself, throwing all pretense to the wind and moving to the beat.

Mosshart and Hince powered through hits off their last two albums, from “U.R.A Fever” to “Satellite.” Against the multicolored leopard-print backdrop, Mosshart twirled and stomped, while Hince basked in the aura of his nonchalant, effortless cool. The pressure and tension of each track slowly built up before reaching the inevitable breaking point, when Mosshart unleashed all her vocal strength in a moment of climax.

The undeniably sexually-charged performance emanates purely from the attitudes of both Hince and Mosshart. Their chemistry creates the electrically charged atmosphere that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up and sends shivers down your spine. Every time they come near each other, you can sense the magnetic pull that draws them in.  Undoubtedly this attraction is what has made the Kills into such a successful duo, musically and personally.

Ending the night on “Fried My Little Brains,” the Kills electrified the audience with their gritty, driving rock, leaving everyone breathless and wanting more. Leaving the steamy theatre and being surprised by the sudden shock of cool air was the wake-up call that woke the fans from the sultry dream of the night.