(L-R): Photographer Kenneth Cappello and The Kills' Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart share a laugh with each other and a fan during their book signing at BookMarc in Manhattan's West Village. (Photo: Harley Oliver Brown)
Saturday was officially The Kills Day in New York City: Months after their 10th anniversary concert at Terminal 5, the unapologetically cool London-based duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince touched down again in Manhattan for an afternoon book signing at BookMarc in the West Village to promote their forthcoming collection of photographs due September 4th, "Dream and Drive," before headlining a free show at Hudson River Park as part of Converse City Carnage's series of free summer shows.
For once, the line around the block at Marc Jacobs' bookstore rivaled that of Magnolia Bakery across the street as fans waited to meet The Kills, get their books signed and take pictures, and drink the complementary Sofia Minis that BookMarc gave out. The band's longtime friend and "Dream and Drive" photographer Kenneth Cappello -- who took a remarkable 20,000 pictures and 600 rolls of film over the course of the band's nine years together -- joined them at BookMarc and for an interview session on Thursday at MILK Gallery, where Cappello's photographs were on exhibition for a few days.
Alison Mosshart catches a breath. (Photo: Harley Oliver Brown)
Afterward, those who managed to snag free tickets headed over to Pier 63. For the second year running, Converse City Carnage's stated aim is to bring together "the worlds of music, skate, and art" with high-profile bands and limited physical ticket "sales" that allow the event to be free but still manageably sized. For its second installation this summer, Boston's Viva Viva opened the balmy evening with a short, '70s psychedelic-inflected set that began promptly at 6 p.m.
Next up was Black Bananas, formerly known as RTX, whose Jennifer Herrema upped the ante with a giant foxtail hanging from her belt loops. Herrema and her band's sludgy, drumless riffs rivaled The Kills' bad-assery and channeled her former metal outfit Royal Trux, not to mention City Carnage's last headbanging headliners, Sleigh Bells.
Black Bananas (L-R): Jennifer Herrema and Brian McKinley work it in the setting sun. (Photo: Harley Oliver Brown)
Both General Admission and VIP areas filled up fast once dusk began to fall. The band's stacked guest list included Katie Holmes, Phantogram's Sarah Barthel, model Jessica Stam, and, of course, Hince's wife Kate Moss. Once The Kills took the stage, however, they diverted attention from the glitterati with their renowned sonic pyrotechnics.
Jamie Hince looks like he must have spotted his supermodel wife in the crowd. (Photo: Harley Oliver Brown)
Mosshart prowled the stage like a caged animal as four masked drummers galloped through "No Wow," seguing with breathtaking brevity into "Future Starts Slow" and "Heart is a Beating Drum" off last year's Blood Pressures. Though the set list skewed closely to their February show at Terminal 5, Mosshart's voice sounded smoother and more on-pitch this time around on relatively quieter cuts like "Black Balloon," resonating with Hince's guitars and occasional vocals. Their onstage chemistry befitted a ten-year-old band, especially when Mosshart licked Hince's cheek after their last song, Keep On Your Mean Side's "Monkey 23."