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The Kills make the long road to Pomona well worth it

The KillsBy Josh Herwitt //

The Kills //
The Glass House – Pomona, CA
July 28th, 2015 //

It can take a lot to convince someone to drive 45 miles into the depths of LA’s eastern edge to see a show on a weeknight in late July. But there I was, cruising along Interstate 10 on my way to Pomona, one of Southern California’s often forgotten-about live music outposts amid the more plentiful and prestigious concert venues throughout LA.

I had only made the trek to Pomona for a show one other time, and to be quite honest, I didn’t think I would again — not because I had an unpleasant experience the first time, but more because there hadn’t been the need or desire to do so. With LA serving largely as Southern California’s musical hotbed, there has been little reason to ever venture outside its borders in order to see live music.

Often times when bands tour now, they will play a gig within LA’s city limits and also book shows in a surrounding city, whether it be farther out east in Pomona or down south in Santa Ana. But with The Kills in town for only two nights during their relatively short, 13-date tour across North America this summer, I was left with little choice but to choose the road less taken, so off I went.

The Kills

It’s worth mentioning that The Kills haven’t put out an album in more than four years, with their latest release Blood Pressures coming out in 2011. But frontwoman Alison Mosshart is getting ready to drop a new record with Jack White and The Dead Weather this September, and guitarist Jamie Hince has had his hands full this month in preparing for the divorce from his wife and celebrity model Kate Moss. So, with a new album still being written and worked on at the moment, why on Earth were The Kills stopping in Pomona of all places before taking off for Montreal to play Osheaga Music and Arts Festival just a few days later?

If anything, this mini-tour has given the London duo a chance to reconnect on stage and test out some new material while on the road. The previous night at LA’s El Rey Theatre, Mosshart and Hince debuted three new songs in fact, with “Impossible Tracks” and “Echo Home” being played back-to-back midway through their set before “Doing It to Death” came a few songs later, right after fan favorite “Baby Says”. And the same went for the sold-out crowd at The Glass House, the 800-person room that came to life quickly when the house lights dimmed and Mosshart and Hince emerged with an ensemble of drummers just after 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Kills

I had seen The Kills perform nine months earlier, when they served as one of three openers for Queens of the Stone Age’s Halloween bash at The Forum this past October. And while they put on a strong showing then, things — believe it or not — were actually taken up a notch in Pomona. Running through all of their hits, starting with “Future Starts Slow” and finishing with “Fried My Little Brains” from 2005’s No Wow to conclude their three-song encore, The Kills, for lack of a better phrase, killed it, leaving nothing on the table after 90 minutes.

Mosshart, tall and slender, strutted her way through just about all of it, displaying a bravado that exudes both sex and confidence, while Hince handled his axe like a bona fide rock star, eventually playing some slide guitar during the gritty, blues-infused track “Pots and Pans” that got the crowd roaring after it was over. After all, it’s that blues/garage-rock overlap, along with the chemistry exhibited between Mosshart and Hince onstage, that makes The Kills such a captivating rock ‘n’ roll act to see live these days. And if that meant going the extra distance to witness it first hand, well then, it was damn well worth it.

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