Live: The Kills/JEFF the Brotherhood, Austin
Editor’s Note: Austin correspondent Lily Angelle kicks off our live music season with a dispatch from Austin.
Following a morning of apocalyptic rainfall in Austin, people gathered at a puddly, muddy Stubb’s BBQ to see The Kills, although it’s safe to say about 90 percent of the crowd just wanted to see front woman Alison Mosshart. My cohort and I, however, were there primarily to see the opening band that we’ve been obsessing over for months: JEFF The Brotherhood, a garage-rock outfit from Nashville.
The night opened with Hunters, a rock group from Brooklyn whose lead guitarist and front woman reminded me all too much of Nick Zinner and Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- their hair, dance moves and mannerisms were seemingly a carbon copy of the great indie rock band, which makes sense since I read somewhere that Nick Zinner mixed some of their material. Their bratty rock ‘n roll lacked originality and left much to be desired, as they appeared to rely on image and band aesthetics alone to earn them cool points.
Next, JEFF The Brotherhood took the stage to a fair amount of applause, although I was shocked that no one else was as excited to see them as my cohort and I, especially after their explosive SXSW sets last year which garnered them much attention and earned them the title of a “must-see act.” They kicked off their 8-song set with “Country,” a tune of theirs I had never heard up until then.
Guitarist and vocalist Jake Orrall slammed away on his three-string clear guitar, with drummer Jamin Orrall keeping the energy up with his eager and fast-paced hits. Off their sophomore album We Are The Champions, they played “Shedder,” “Diamond Way,” which they recently performed on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” and “Stay Up Late.” If there is one word to describe JEFF’s music, it most certainly is driving.
The Kills took the stage shortly after JEFF’s set, busting out with “No Wow,” Mosshart slinking quickly back and forth across the stage like a feral cat. Guitarist Jamie Hince and Mosshart both looked like fashionable English rockers in their leather jackets and snazzy accessories.
Mosshart’s new bleached, pink hair was a shocking difference from her usual goth black hairstyle. Although we definitely didn’t get to see the demonic, savage Mosshart that fronts The Dead Weather alongside Jack White, she certainly had an enrapturing stage presence full of fierce fervor, especially in “Fuck The People” and “Nail In My Coffin.”
Although they did have their softer moments, like when Hince and Mosshart jumped atop opposite speakers to perform a calm cover of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” Off of their latest effort Blood Pressures, The Kills returned to the stage to start their encore performance with the slow and heartfelt “The Last Goodbye.” The night ended with “Monkey 23,” proving that The Kills are definitely a sight to see live and up close.