It’s getting increasingly harder to find pure rock and roll bands these days or even what we used to consider real rockstars. That wasn’t so last week at the Trocadero. In a world where “indie” never means independent and teenagers are trading in their stratocasters for moog synthesizers, The Kills came to Philadelphia and delivered dirty, soulful, feedback-ridden rock to Chinatown. Nuns and Moon Duo brought their ripping, psychedelic rock along for the ride to provide several hours of guitar solos dripped in distortion on October 22nd.

Alison Mosshart of The Kills (Photo: Andrew Wick)

Alison Mosshart of The Kills (Photo: Andrew Wick)

Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince, the duo that are The Kills, brought an extra amount of intensity on their latest tour that teared through Philadelphia. Perhaps it was due to Alison’s moonlighting with The Dead Weather and her collaborator Jack White, but The Kills appeared to have found more charisma and added more rawness to their sound. Allison often stomped around the stage in her leather platform heels and swung her blonde mane around, while roaring into the microphone. Jamie played most of the set with his one leg up on the floor monitor, bending guitar solos out of his amplifier feedback while pounding his fist into the axe. Additionally, they added two percussionists on floor toms for extra power throughout the night. Their jungle rhythms were the perfect accompaniment to Alison’s fierce lioness strut around the stage.

Jamie Hince of The Kills (Photo: Andrew Wick)

Jamie Hince of The Kills (Photo: Andrew Wick)

After ripping through “U.R.A. Fever” and “Cheap and Cheerful” they slowed down the night for a gloomy rendition of “Baby Says” in which Jamie ventured into the crowd to pluck his guitar. After fading out into feedback and darkness, a exuberant fan shouted, “Play Black Ballon!” and Alison responded with an “Okay” and a smile. The crowd was ecstatic for that. Following a very heavy set, they played a rendition of “Last Day of Magic” that ended in a thumping breakdown of tribal drums. Following that was a southern fried version of “Monkey 23” in which Jamie played the guitar solo utilizing the microphone stand as his guitar slide.

The Kills performing "The Last Goodbye" (Photo: Andrew Wick)

The Kills performing “The Last Goodbye” (Photo: Andrew Wick)

The cheers for the encore that night did not need to last long. The whole Trocadero was shaking thanks to the patrons in the balcony stomping their feet for more rock and roll. The Kills came back quick to assure us that they heard the thunder. They played two more songs backed by drummers including fan-favorite “Sour Cherry” and then the drummers disappeared, leaving the duo on stage bathed in tungsten light. Jamie stepped in front of the organ in the back, rattling out some melodies while the spotlight focused on Alison. They ended the night by performing, “The Last Goodbye” as some collegiate punk kids slow danced in front of the popcorn machine, and everyone cheered loudly for some of the last remaining rockstars.

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