The Kills on the prowl at the Ogden Theatre (photos, review)

Alison Mosshart stalked the Ogden Theatre stage like a panther Wednesday night, her a voice — heavy with love and pain — on the prowl. The American born lead singer for the British indie duo The Kills is a rock badass, and takes her rightful place on stage standing on the shoulders of Patti Smith, Siouxie Sioux and Joan Jett. Mosshart’s bandmate, guitarist Jamie Hince, grounds The Kills sound in heavy, gritty guitar riffs while Mosshart howls and falls to her knees.


After opening with the sultry “U.R.A Fever,” The Kills hit their stride early in the set with “DNA,” featuring an “Oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh” crowd singalong. It was strangely reminiscent of the “Wizard of Oz” “Winkie Chant,” suffused with the same dark magic as the Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys. But Mosshart is alternately witchy and sweet. On ballads like “Baby Says” and “The Last Goodbye,” she’s all Dorothy: tough as nails exterior paired with a pure, sweet voice that conveys a deep vulnerability, a la Judy Garland.

Though they haven’t released new music since 2011’s critically acclaimed “Blood Pressures,” The Kills are playing a limited number of U.S. dates, along with a sprinkling of summer festivals. Mosshart has played the sweaty late-summer Ogden Theatre before, alongside Jack White in The Dead Weather, in 2009 and 2010. In contrast to the unabashed sexual vibe that White and Mosshart create, the chemistry between Mosshart and Hince (husband of British supermodel Kate Moss) feels more paternal. It makes sense, given that she was all of 14 when they met, and he encouraged her to begin writing her own songs.

Also worthy of special mention was opening act, Danish stoner metal girl group Baby in Vain, who shredded their way through a jubilant and intense set of grungy guitar rock that was received warmly by the sweaty Ogden crowd.