The Kills with L.A. WITCH – Live at Metropolis – September 21st, 2016 – Montreal QC

Here at Bucketlist Music Reviews, we take pride in supporting local bands. We enjoy giving publicity to those lesser known entities in the music scene, which is why I find it extremely hard and ostentatious to write a review about an already well-established band. Nothing I say will make even one iota of a difference to The Kill’s fanbase. With their faces and videos always plastered around the internet, what I’m doing is the equivalent of spitting into the ocean. It’s a good thing, then, that I have overactive salivary glands.


The floor was halfway to capacity at Metropolis when L.A. WITCH took the stage. They were all hair and reverb. The best way I could describe how bassist Irita Pai moved is that she shuffled with attitude in the area of her microphone. She made eye contact with the crowd but seemed lost in her head, while fat bass lines dripped from her fingers with automatic ease. If she fucked up at all during the night, it’s news to me. Every note was plucked gold to my ears.

Battering away on the drums and cementing the rhythm section was Ellie English (how cool of a name is that!?!). I was transported to my happy place by her playing, more than anyone else, as she always added what was needed to every song. Each thump of the tom was a tantalizing treat. The sound resonated, making its way to me at the back without losing an ounce of itself. Their sixth song of the night, “Drive Your Car,” was driven by the accentuated high hat and snare hits on the second and fourth beat during the verse. I couldn’t help but let my hair down at that point. It was then that I stopped taking notes and allowed myself to be sucked away by their encapsulating sound.

The Kills

“The sound sucks,” I overheard, from someone close to me. I don’t know if their spot zapped them to another dimension, but from where I was, everything was copasetic. The same could also be said of Sade Sanchez’s performance that night, too. She was solid, never straying from her particular range of vocal melody and never wavering. She was not pitchy in the least, even when a few burps of microphone feedback popped through the speakers. I liked how her guitar solos were an extension of her singing voice, but, what impressed me the most, was her ability to play rhythmic chords while adding enough high-end notes to make it more interesting than just playing power chords. It’s no easy feat to do both at the same time, and it shows perfect hand placement to pull it off.

One last note; the constant tempo changes in “Untitled” which migrated from slow to fast to slow to fast, we’re exquisitely done. They caught and rode the wave like surfers. I almost expected them to high five each other after the song was over.

They say Rock n’ Roll is a young person’s game. It wasn’t the case on Wednesday night when The Kills took the stage; the audience was filled with every conceivable age. Singer Alison Mosshart was all movement the entire set. Her body gyrations and thrashes spoke of someone twenty years her junior. Between songs like “Heart of a Dog,” “Fried My Little Brain,” and “Echo Home,” we were treated to a band that is rightfully globally known. What a helluva show they put on. Between her sharp, jagged movements and Jamie Hince showcasing some smooth, succulent dance moves, there was not a moment when those two didn’t command every ounce of your attention. My favourite moment was in their opening number when Alison spent portions of the song rolling around on the ground, bellowing into her mic.

I liked that this band wasn’t afraid to get dirty, despite the lights shining down, illuminating them against the saturated colour scheme of their backdrop.

All it all, it was a good show. The Kills killed it.

Written by Aaron Deck
Photography by Eric Brisson  Eric Brisson Photography
*edited by Danielle Kenedy

About Aaron Deck 84 Articles
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Aaron Deck, and he lived in a magical land called Near Halifax. He was quiet and thoughtful (Okay, loud and rambunctious), and learned the wondrous skill of playing piano at the age of 8. Once puberty hit, upon learning that piano isn’t considered ‘cool’, he quickly transferred over to the traditional art of playing Rock ‘n Roll guitar. In 2008, he migrated West to Montreal, where he has played in multiple punk rock bands, including the fantabulous Ol’ School Johnny. He was often not recognized to be part of the band when selling merch. He currently has a horror short story collection out called "14 Needles", available through Amazon. Oh yeah, and he sometimes has really rad living room dance parties.

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