The Kills Slayed the Sold-Out Wiltern Theatre

It happened on the  first Saturday night of September, at the Wiltern Theatre in Hollywood California the alternative-rock power duo–The Kills–took the sold-out crowd by the throat and never let go.

by D R  Harward

In what amounted to high-theater for the normally austere rock duo, The Kills, opened their recent LA show by plunging  the venue into total darkness. The impromptu blackout, which lasted maybe five minutes, seemed to amplify their restless crowds’ anticipation until they fervently began chanting, in unison, “Kills, Kills, KILLS!”

A brilliant flash of spotlights together with low-throated growl, of a power cord turned up way-past-ten, announced that The Kills had taken the stage–and they wouldn’t be giving it back anytime soon.

Band mates, Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince, launched into their power-riff heavy new single Heart of a Dog from Ash & Ice; their first new studio album in over five years.  Blending the old with the new, to the delight of fans they didn’t hold back from playing older favorites from their catalog:  songs such as U R A FeverBlack Balloon and No Wow were featured prominently throughout their set.

“They killed it!” said Jason Black, 22, of Van Nuys.

The Kills are easily among the top-10 best bands that you’ve probably never heard of, joining other under-appreciated, largely undiscovered rock music phenoms like P.J. Harvey or The Pretty Reckless. Their sound is difficult to describe, songs that tend to hook you on the first listen–never to let go. They describe themselves as “a restless, reckless enigmatic art statement that bristled with tension, anxiety, sex, unstudied cool and winking ennui.”

Band mates Hince and Mosshart have not been idle during their five-year hiatus from The Kills, they both have been keeping in the public-eye, albeit with little-to-no references to their band.

Hince became an almost household name in the United Kingdom because of his marriage to super-model Kate Moss in 2011 and their subsequent break-up in 2015.  The British tabloids have unabashedly reported on Moss’ purportedly extra-marital affair with the debonair Count Nikolai Von Bismark; Jaime’s angry outbursts about the betrayal have undoubtedly added fuel to the media-fanned fire.

Mosshart has been occupying herself with other artistic pursuits, such as; painting, writing and touring with her other, better-known, band The Dead Weather. Together with Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs) and Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) she has released three commercially successful albums with The Dead Weather. as the lead singer and co-writer of various songs.

In an effort to not repeat ourselves, the path of least resistance has never been ours. Change is uneasy. Art should be uneasy”, said Alison Mosshart in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.

The Kills concluded their gig at the Wiltern with their infectious retribution song No Wow, which earned them a standing ovation. They gave thanks with an amazing three song encore–an incredible evening with a prodigious band.

The brand new album from The Kills, Ash & Ice is out now. Order on limited edition deluxe LP and CD: Order on iTunes: Order on Google Play:



D.R. Harward | The Valley Star
D.R. Harward | The Valley Star

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