Music, Fashion, and The Kills (with Baby in Vain)
This was one of the best shows of my life, so hang tight! But first...the fashion. This show was on the first week of August and we had finally stopped expecting rain every damn day. I'm in the process of collecting this pattern of Hell Bunny skirts in every color (they've discontinued the print so it is a taller order than it sounds), and I had just gotten this blue one in the mail (I have pink and black too). I decided it seemed summery and even a little bit rock and roll, or at least rockabilly, so whatever! I find floral prints to be super easy to mix patterns with, so I tucked in this stripped Forever 21 top into the skirt and accessorized it with a matching hair flower from Sophisticated Lady Flowers, my gold Kate Spade bag, and ankle straps sandals (also from Forever 21) for comfort while walking and standing all night.
This was one of the only concerts I went to this summer where I really "nailed it" in regards to fashion involving comfort, plus being weather appropriate. I may have been a little bit cooler in a sundress that was shorter, as the auditorium was hella hot, but this is a breezy and light outfit so that probably wouldn't have made a huge difference.
This whole concert had a series of weird prequels. First off, I thought at least a handful of my friends were going. By the end of of July I realized only my friend Jeanice and I were confirmed...if not actually interested. Jeanice is someone you've heard and seen a lot of this summer as I've dubbed her my "concert going lesbian life mate...for the summer." I'm not sure why I thought others were going, but alas, it was just us. And then we BOTH somehow thought the show was on August 15th and not the 5th. We are both type A personalities--though admittedly in opposites ways--so that fact that we both somehow got the date wrong is impressive. The fact that we both had physical tickets for the event and it took until a fortnight before the show to realize the error is just plain old stupid. Haha. Whoops.
Within the 24 hours before the show we began to make some semblance of plans. Walk there? Sure. Dinner before? Why not. I looked at the ticket and saw that the doors were at 8PM. What time did we wanna stroll into the Ogden Theater? I took a gander at the opener on Spotify, Baby in Vain. I had seen a mix of great openers as well as bad this summer, so I wanted to know what was up before deciding on time frames etc. I honestly only gave each song a ten second preview to myself but deemed them the kind of band that "sounded cool" so I told Jeanice that I wanted to see the openers. Sometime in this time frame, I talked our mutual friend Kelsey into going as well. (I pretty much sold him with, "the chick in The Kills is also in a band with Jack White (The Dead Weather)". So the three of us grabbed a bite and decided that Kelsey too, a man, was also sort of our "concert going lesbian life mate for the summer" as well, since he's been to a lot of shows with us. Basically, this night started out fairly regular for my crew!
The lesbian life mate crew!
We basically made our way towards the front of the auditorium and suddenly the lights went out and Baby in Vain took the stage. Perfect timing! Within the first few notes I knew it was a good choice that we went to see the openers too. But I can't pinpoint the moment I realized my face was frozen with my jaw basically on the floor. Kelsey swears that by the end of the 4th song the whole venue (which was nearly full for the opener...something I've next to never seen in my life) collectively geeked out and was super on board with them. I'll take his word for it that I had my "aha moment" right around then as well. And with each song they got progressively better and more impressive...which is actually fucking scary as they started out soooooooo goooooood to begin with!
I'm a smidge too young to like the music I really fucking love. And what I mean by that is majority of my favorite bands had already hit their peak by the time I was in elementary school, or well before then. Seeing these really young girls rock out, so hard (I've been to metal and noise rock shows before...I know what I'm talking about here) was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my life. It was like watching Sonic Youth with a young Kim Gordon, the Pixies with a young Kim Deal, Veruca Salt, and basically every other cool as hell lady in rock and roll all at once. Watching the fans from this ridiculously hot August night blow their hair around gave me the impression that they were in a cool music video, or some magical rock and roll land that probably had a volcano around somewhere that I would like to enter. I was transcended into the way earlier 90s with their grungy noise rock sound. Baby in Vain is cooler than Courtney love in the early days of Hole. Baby is vain is better than Liz Phair (yes, Exile in Guyville days. Obviously I wasn't referencing the-IMHO- pop disaster sell out that is "Why Can't I?"). Hell, this breaks my cold black heart a bit to say this...but these chicks have nothing on Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart (yes, I've seen them and loved them too). If Lillith Fair supported music like this...I would have been way more on board with Lillith Fair! Seriously...I'm a rock lover and a bit of a rock snob (in my own way as I do enjoy hair metal way too much to take myself too seriously) and I've never been so insanely blown away by a band I barely knew. My eyes were wide the entire set. If a stranger was observing me they probably would have thought I was horrified at them. Really my brain just couldn't absorb how awesome life was.
This is legitimately the first time I have ever wondered if an opening band could possibly upstage the headliner. I KNEW The Kills would be good. But I found myself biting my nails for them a bit because Baby in Vain was going to be a hard act to follow. (Again, I was here for The Kills...not Baby in Vain). Frankly...I'm not sure who wins in this battle of the bands. The Kills were also AWESOME! And they're such a different band with such a different energy that I really can't even compare the two. The thing is though, as I'm writing this I am more blown away by Baby in Vain. It's very possible this is because I had no idea what I was in for and had no clue what to expect, so the lack of expectation with the huge delivery had a greater impact. But both were so amazing...it's literally unfair to most other musical acts out there in the world.
The Kills took the stage after a musical intro and I immediately recognized the opening to "URA Fever" (above) with all of the telephone dials and smiled. This is one of my favorite songs by The Kills. It's catchy and I just can't help it! And they totally nailed it, so I knew for sure by this time that I was in for a great night of music back to back. My only complaint was that a few of my favorite songs of theirs they didn't play, but I've come to expect that from bands that I love after they've put out a few albums, especially if I've grown fond of album tracks that weren't singles. Their energy slayed it the entire time, which is double impressive on stage because there's not that many members of the bad are and so much noise and music comes out of them. If you remember, I got Kelsey to go because the girl, Allison Mosshart, is also in the Dead Weather with Jack White. He wasn't really familiar with The Kills, and he has since told me that he's tried to listen to them after the show but they've been hard to listen to because they were so good live and it doesn't translate on their recorded albums. I get it, as I didn't reach for playlists with The Kills all over it immediately after either, as I knew they'd sound hallow for a while on Spotify or CD. Other bands that have done this to me (offhand) are TV on the Radio, Surfer Blood, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Jesus and Mary Chain. That said, if you don't know the band check them out on Pandora or Spotify, because they are great. And, if you seem them live, they're even greater ;)
Sadly Jeanice left early...but Kelsey and I got to meet Baby in Vain at the end of the show!
My summer concert series is nearly complete! I only have Foo Fighters and Hall and Oates to go! I was supposed to go to some more shows since September, but they all fell through. I have some new ones I'm planning on for the next month or so, but for now this is the third to last. Which may as well be for the best, because I did fall behind about posting on these shows, so I very well may be synced up in the future! That said, I'm going to be adding a page on my blog that you can click on to read about shows you missed and I will no longer be listing each and every concert, but only ones from the past season. For now, a complete list exists below! Anyone have any fun shows coming up?
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