Alison Mosshart has truly come into her own since forming The Kills with British guitar maestro Jamie Hince 16 years ago.
Thriving on a lo-fi, stripped down rock and bluesy sound, she and Hince have taken the world by storm, spurred by five compelling albums and global touring. One of the vocalist’s more recent achievements was making her mark as frontwoman for American rock supergroup The Dead Weather. The lineup includes Jack White of The White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Dean Fertita.
Gearing up for Mosshart’s 37th birthday tomorrow, we take you through six of her top live moments with a few other prolific musos in the rock world.
1. Paris Summer, The Last Shadow Puppets – Concert Privé, 2008
After a haunting first verse from frontman Alex Turner [Arctic Monkeys], Mosshart delivered some of her best vocals to date as she transitioned easily from her low to high range.
The soul pouring from her voice, elevated by the strings in the background, hit a high when she exchanged lines with Turner during the song’s second half. She definitely stole the show, particularly during their harmonies. Damn, those spine-tingling long notes.
2. Dreams, Mark Ronson – Fleetwood Mac Fest, 2016
Mosshart, Ronson, Courtney Love and Weezer‘s Brian Bell were all among the guests at LA’s Fonda Theatre this year, paying tribute to the iconic Brit-American rockers.
Joining the acclaimed English musician for one of Fleetwood Mac‘s biggest songs, the slow-paced yet intense ‘Dreams’ was the perfect song for Mosshart to cover. Both the powerful and husky sides to her vocals took centre stage, and overall the performance proved that the vocalist doesn’t need to move much to command a crowd.
3. Dolls, Primal Scream – Later Live… with Jools Holland, 2006
This throwback certainly remains one of Mosshart’s most fun performances yet, with the singer really getting into the groove. Floor touches. Hip swings. Impressively low headbangs. Yeah, they’re all there.
Sure her vocals weren’t the best, but when you’re onstage with this ballsy Scottish rock group, they don’t need to be. Starting with a slow drawl, the singer quickly takes on a Joan Jett-esque vibe as she spits out the rest of the bridge with conviction. Great stuff.
4. Write Me A Few Lines, Seasick – iTunes Festival, 2011
Yet another performance where the singer absolutely rocked it without having to really move. Offset by the bluesy, measured rhythms from vocalist Seasick Steve and infectious bass, the growl in Mosshart’s vocals were briefly but surely showcased here.
Her voice also paired really well with Steve’s, making for a solid performance.
5. Steady As She Goes, The Raconteurs – Memphis, 2008
The feisty performer needed a lyric sheet for this one, but that certainly didn’t stop her from rocking out with the Detroit group, which included bassist Jack Lawrence, and drummer and co-lead vocalist Jack White (both from The Dead Weather).
Even though she mostly stayed in her low range, her vocals added a refreshing layer to White’s reverbing vocals later in the track. Plus she looked like she was having the time of her life up onstage. It was tangible.
6. Whatever I Want, JEFF the Brotherhood – The Kills’ 10th Anniversary NYC show, 2012
The Nashville duo were out as supports, along with Hunter, four years ago in celebration of The Kills’ 10 years together.
Mosshart’s magnetic onstage movement came to the fore during JEFF the Brotherhood’s opening set in New York, where she joined singer Jake Orrall. From gut-busting screams to sultry low notes, Mosshart once again proved why it’s hard to take your eyes off the ever-dynamic frontwoman.
Artists in this post
The Kills is a rock band formed by American singer Alison Mosshart (“VV”) and British guitarist Jamie Hince (“Hotel”). Their first three albums, Keep On Your Mean Side, No Wow, and Midnight Boom have gathered much critical praise. Blood Pressures, their fourth and most recent studio album, was released on April 4, 2011 worldwide and